Whenever I see a movie critic praise Ridley Scott's Prometheus, they seem to be drooling over all the mythological references, although most don't necessarily complement gaps in the story or enrich itself.
I see the same pattern repeated over and over in Hollywood. Take The Matrix for one, where mythological and religious references are regarded significant and are valuable additions to the storytelling. I am at the brink of coming to the conclusion that any screenplay can be improved a lot by adding sufficient amount of mythology.
I don't understand how mythological references make a story better. Because:
Mythology is the oldest form of storytelling, so it's been around the longest, hence it's the most common and the most primitive. It even predates philosophical texts so the most intricate theme you can bump into is "self-sacrifice".
It's been referenced so many times. Every new pantheon, new mythology and new religion, inherited complete volumes of previous mythology. It didn't stop there either, non-religious storytelling was also influenced by mythology for a very long time.
So referencing mythology today feels like referencing a dictionary, or lyrics to Old McDonald's Farm. I cannot simply grasp how people feel awe when faced with a mythological reference in a movie called "Prometheus" in the first place. Since everybody seems to be ok with those I probably don't know something?