The answer is no. No, there could not have been more idiot balls in this film because every single character juggled several throughout the entire movie. Every. Single. Character. Starting with whoever organized this expedition and decided to select a crew composed entirely of emotionally unstable cowards who fell apart the second anything stressful happened. Not some of them. All of them.
The single glimmer of intelligence came fairly early in the film, when Daniels (Katherine Waterston) told Captain Oram (Billy Crudup) that she didn’t think it was a good idea to go down onto a planet they knew nothing about and that kind of just appeared. She was overruled, and that was pretty much the last intelligent action attempted by anyone.
You’d think the crew of a colony ship with responsibility for 2000 people would spend at least a little time scanning a totally unknown planet before sending a team down to the surface. Nope, down they went within minutes. Red flags were raised almost immediately, but not only did they remain on the planet, they split up.
Two crew members got sick and died almost immediately, and the survivors were confronted by a dangerous lifeform. You’d think strict quarantine would be implemented at that point, but no, the only things that prevented them from immediately bringing the unknown contagion back to the colony ship were sheer panic, shockingly bad judgement, and very poor aim on the part of the lander’s pilot.
Now marooned, a single living humanoid showed up and they followed him without hesitation to a city full of corpses that they had no idea was there because they couldn’t be bothered to scan an unknown planet before heading down.
The humanoid turned out to be David the android (Michael Fassbender), who looked exactly like their own ship’s android, Walter (Michael Fassbender), so they apparently felt safe enough to split up again and again and again.
You’d think at some point the landing party would accept they were on a death planet and would order the ship to leave for the safety of everyone on board. Did I mention 2000 colonists? But no, they repeatedly demanded to be picked up. Which Tennessee (Danny McBride) was only too happy to endanger the entire ship to do.
The idiocy of the crew was hardly the only problem. Character development was virtually nonexistent. The crew were bland and boring, and it was nearly impossible to care about any of them. They existed solely to die one by one, usually with gouts of blood pouring out of them. And there was no suspense. You could see everything coming from 10 miles away, including the ending.
I have to give special mention to Katherine Waterston. In a movie this horrible, it’s hard to be noticeably more awful than everything else on screen, but she managed it. She cried, screamed, and whined a lot, but she failed to convey even the barest hint of believable emotion or to make me care about her in the slightest. Between this and her equally poor performance in Fantastic Beasts, I’m starting to think any movie she’s in is going to be mediocre at best.
This movie wasn’t just bad, it was, quite frankly, insulting. I take it personally that director Ridley Scott expected me to swallow a story that was driven entirely by unrelenting stupidity on the part of everyone. It wasn’t even so bad it’s good. It was just bad. Really bad. And insufferably pretentious. Yeah, fine, he wanted to explore ideas of creation, meaning of existence, blah blah blah. But it was far too heavy handed and self-indulgent to be taken seriously. It’s one thing to pose questions and explore concepts, but it’s quite another to spew metaphysical tripe like an anxty teenager trying to sound profound.
I charitably gave this film a point for the visuals, which is the only reason it didn’t rate a 1. It’s not worth renting or even watching free of charge on cable. My recommendation is to spare yourself some pain and avoid this one entirely.
Overall rating: 2/10