If I remember correctly, this was the geologist, right?
I can't help but feel like they should have used the effect. I like these shots a lot more than what I saw back in June. Seeing him turn into something resembling a xenomorph would have at least felt a but less out of place than him just turning into a raging zombie*. And I don't say that out of some need for this to be "more of an Alien prequel". I don't need that. I just wish the movie was coherent enough to resonate with its audience. The movie of course has its fans, but far and wide it has been seen as a grand disappointment. His whole attack/death scene felt completely off, like it belonged in a different film. I don't want to leave the theatre with every question answered, but I want to leave with some questions that are worth answering. So yes, I would have preferred something closer to a xenomorph transformation.
As many have said, one of the film's biggest problems was that the "black goo" didn't seem to have any sort of consistency in its effect. We've all seen that chart making the rounds on Facebook and various blogs...
Sure, it's a simplification, but it has a point. I don't want to leave the theatre knowing everything about the stuff, but you can't just write an absolute mess and call it art. There need to be connections, whether your audience makes them in the theatre, or at home after a lot of thought.
Plus, those pics above are some of the ONLY visuals I've seen from this film that are actually interesting. For me this film was a visual bore. It's just Mass Effect with a bunch of leftover Giger paintings thrown in for fan service. This is generic science fiction. I don't think anything in Prometheus hasn't already been done in an XBOX game, except for maybe the "birth" scene.
I think the main reason for all the disappointment surrounding this movie is that Prometheus never offered anything worth pondering. It's full of cheap, pop-philosophy that barely goes beyond the paragraph on the back of an Ancient Aliens DVD case. I remember watching that show and thinking, "Damn, Ridley Scott has so much to work with." But nope. The script was lazy and uninspired. I read all the articles that popped up after the movie came out, explaining the links to Christianity and immaculate conception and whatnot. I've read articles like this...http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/584135.html
...and all I can say is that is some of the most obvious, heavy-handed, uncreative shit ever. Bringing Christianity into this? Seriously? I can't find words for how much I hated reading this article. Ridley Scott, you are an extremely talented man. Please tell me there is more to your creative mind than this contrived bullshit.
I'm still hoping that a director's cut (or sequel) will save this mess of a film. It has some promising moments, and I honestly want it to be good. But theatrical cut they released in June is a really half baked movie. And sorry Preston, but I completely diagree with you on this one. I have no problem with the movie being vague and not spoon-fed, but it has to be good. I love mystery and I love walking away from a movie and figuring out its puzzle. In fact, that describes some of my favorite films. I loved 2001, and many others that fit that description. But Prometheus?
Two intelligent, educated women who are somehow too stupid to run left or right. One of those women is running and jumping and climbing, all with a few staples holding her guts in after surgery. A geologist in charge of mapping the ruins, who promptly gets lost. A biologist who finds the single greatest biological discovery in the history of human existence, and runs away in fear, but then all of a sudden his fearless curiosity compels him to touch the watersnake. That isn't vague mystery. That is sloppy writing.
Character problems aside, a movie like Prometheus needs to present an interesting mystery that is worth unraveling. And vague or not, it has to present a good story. This film did neither, and that is where it fails. The characters were poorly developed and the plot was laughable, but if it offered any sort of mystery that was actually compelling and didn't rely on obscurity, I could actually ignore those things. This movie isn't high art, it's sci-fi schlock with a more expensive coat of paint. A friend of mine who loves the movie pointed out how much he loves that it feels like one of the old corny sic-fi films of the AFI days, Roger Corman's glory days. And he's right, it definitely feels like one of those old movies that was written one week and shot the next. It's The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra with a summer tentpole budget. But his reason for loving it is my reason for hating it. It could have been great. It could have carried some bold ideas. So bravo Prometheus for not spoon-feeding us, but you should of just focused on offering us something worth eating, spoon-fed or not.
And come on Preston, there's nothing worse than assuming that someone's dislike of a film has to do with some sort of "American" ignorance. No need to be pretentious. I'm glad you like the film. I'm still hoping that with a director's cut or a sequel I can like it too.
*I use the term "raging zombie" because of how similar it was to 28 Days Later.