Prometheus is just Alien vs Predator without Predators.
Okay so it's much more than that, but that sentence pretty much sums up my realization very simply. However, for those who don't understand what I mean I'll lay out both movies for you and show you what I mean.
To start off we have the overall premise of the two movies. Both are pretty much the same when taken at face value. Which is really surprising considering Prometheus is awesome and AVP isn't. Of course this all falls into how the films were executed and Prometheus was executed brilliantly by a guy who has such works like the first Alien and Blade Runner under his belt while AVP was directed by the guy who did the Resident Evil movies. However, what still stands is that both films follow the same basic plot. Don't believe me? Check this!
So for Prometheus we have a story about a group of explorers who discover that there is evidence of an extraterrestrial race present at the dawn of mankind who may have helped us evolve. The explorers travel to a distant location, in this case another planet, far from civilization to uncover answers to humanity's origins and discover a lost pyramid structure built by the aliens that turns out to be a trap full of nightmarish alien monstrosities designed to kill them.
If that sounds familiar that's because it's the exact same plot to Alien vs Predator! Which goes something like this: A group of explorers discover that there is evidence of an extraterrestrial race present at the dawn of mankind who may have helped us evolve. The explorers travel to a distant location, Antarctica, far from civilization to uncover answers to humanity's origins and discover a lost pyramid built by the aliens that, surprisingly, turns out to be a trap full of nightmarish alien monstrosities designed to kill them.
Do I have your attention now? Good because that isn't all these two movies share.
You may recall in Prometheus that the entire expedition is funded by the Weyland Corporation (which eventually becomes Weyland-Yutani later down the road). In fact, it's personally funded by the CEO himself, Peter Weyland (played by Guy Pearce in old guy makeup). It's at this point I should mention I assume you've seen Prometheus by now and don't mind SPOILERS. Anyhow, it turns out Weyland, who is a dying old man, believes this expedition could be his key to immortality and goes along on the expedition (in secret of course).
In AVP you have Weyland (played by Lance Henriksen and wishes he was in old guy makeup) a dying old man who has personally funded the expedition in the hopes that this discovery will immortalize him in something more than just being a billionaire CEO. Of course, to ensure he gets this form of "immortality" he goes along on the expedition.
It's almost like Prometheus writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof sat down in a room, trying to come up with the story, and decided they'd "just do that crappy AVP movie, but better."
Similarities don't end there either, though. Oh no. It appears the so called "DNA" that Prometheus shares with Alien comes more from these crappy crossover movies than it does the original films.
If you can recall, in AVP, (if you can't I wouldn't blame you, the movie blows) there is a scene where the main female protagonist, or as most Alien fans call her "The Ripley," finds one of the expedition's security officers loading a gun and chastises the woman for bringing a gun on a purely scientific exploratory expedition. The resulting retort from the security officer being one of witty logic stating she'd "rather not need it and have one than need it and not have one."
Well the same things happens in Prometheus where Shaw (Noomi Rapace), a.k.a. The Ripley, notices one of the ship's security officer's toting a giant flame thrower and complains about it on the grounds that this is purely a scientific expedition. The officer scoffs at her idiotic objections since they are heading into a situation where there could possibly be hostile alien forces and says something along the lines of "bite me, I'm keeping my flamethrower for when the shit hits the fan."
Other similarities include The Ripleys' romantic interest in both films being horribly killed upon being infected by an alien pathogen. In AVP it's the Italian guy who gets facehugged and is shot in the head to spare him the pain. In Prometheus it's Halloway when he gets an alien mickey slipped into his drink via David and he later willingly gets immolated to spare himself the pain of the infection. Another one is where a horrific stereotype dies a hilariously horrible death, in AVP it's the Scottish guy and in Prometheus its a British Stoner.
However, the most damning similarity between these two films is the final scene which are pretty much the same shot for shot. In Prometheus we get a shot of a proto-alien bursting out of an Engineer's chest which proceeds to shriek at the camera with its alien mandibles extended. In AVP we get a shot of the Predator/Alien hybrid bursting out of a Predator's chest, which shrieks at the camera with its mandibles extended.
So what does this mean exactly? Some may wonder what the whole point of this article is since I spent so much time thinking of similarities between these two films. Was there a real point or did I just want to have fun ruining your image of Prometheus forever? Well a little. However, the real point here is that the fact of the matter is there really are no new ideas anymore. What makes Prometheus such an original and engaging film is what AVP lacked, and that was substance. Prometheus dared to make you ask questions, and had fairly interesting characters that asked those questions. AVP, on the other hand, is a cheesy monster bash.
It's all in the execution, and Prometheus was a well executed movie.