Movie Review: Prometheus
This week, Papa Kenn reviews another one of the most anticipated films of the year: PROMETHEUS! But does it live up to the hype?
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof
Starring: Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green and Michael Fassbender
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Prometheus: one of the most anticipated films of the year! Directed by Ridley Scott, the man that kicked off the Alien franchise with 1979’s Alien. Starring Charlize Theron, Magneto, that guy from The Losers, and some other people you may or may not care about.
It’s a movie that brings creeping horror back into space; A movie with intense action that keeps your blood pumping and your butt firmly on the edge of the seat; A movie that asks the timeless questions: “Where did we come from?” and “Why are we here?”
Except it does none of these things. Ok, it does ask those questions, but I’m still not sure if it actually answered them. If it did, I must have dozed off during those scenes.
Carrying on his tradition of consistently beautiful movies, Ridley Scott does an excellent job in creating the universe that Prometheus exists in. Every last detail on screen is nearly flawless, and draws you into it. I watched it in 2D, and can only imagine what it must be like in IMAX 3D.
Then there’s Michael Fassbender as David the android. The character was excellently written, brilliantly portrayed, and carries an air of coldness about him that comes the closest to that “creeping horror” I wanted out of this movie so badly.
If this cast were a sundae, Fassbender would be the cherry on top alongside a couple of nutter butters, some colorless sprinkles, and a big scoop of “va-MEH-la” ice cream. I guess that would make Theron one of those pretty looking hard candies that may or may not be edible.
One of the biggest issues concerning the cast is that there are way too many characters. Alien had a crew of 7 distinct individuals whose quirks and personalities we learned early on. Prometheus has a crew of 17, most of which make up the “va-MEH-la” alongside a couple of nuts, and…well you get the reference. The problem here is that even the main characters aren’t very fleshed out. They’re all just there, acting as plot devices for this (possible) prequel.
When characters died, I felt no remorse. And why should I? I felt no personal connection, nor any real need to care about any of them beyond the movie’s insistence that “these people are the main characters.” The only time I cared about a character dying was because he/she turned into a whiny little ***** for no apparent reason. And it wasn’t even because the character died, but because I was glad to be rid of him/her!
The film’s strongest defenders that I’ve spoken with appear fixated on saying that I (and others like me) “just don’t get it”; that I’m too fixated upon my previous expectations of what the movie should have been. That the movie is more of a work of art meant to make us think and consider the questions being posed throughout. “Where did we come from?” “Why are we here?” “Why do I feel so sleepy?” To a degree, those people are right. I did go in with expectations that simply weren’t met. I honestly did my best to keep from directly associating Prometheus with the other Alien movies, but it’s extremely hard to do when they are throwing symbolism from Alien at you every 5 minutes.
While an ok movie on its own merit, I feel that Lindelof built a weak foundation for Scott’s Alien universe to rest upon. Rather than striking a weak middle ground between “direct prequel” and “not a direct prequel”, they should have gone all out in one direction or the other. Either embrace the fact that this movie is a direct prequel and build on the existing universe, or cut all ties to Alien and build a stronger story around this new idea.
This review turned out much different than I expected it to. Being a spiritual prequel (maybe) to the original Alien movie, I expected to bring you good tidings of great joy! Tidings of a phenomenal science fiction film that pulls you in with a strong sense of horror; maybe even some killer action! In fact, all I really wanted was a good movie! But I didn’t get that. Instead, I got a very pretty but convoluted and boring mess. A mess that someone (Michael Fassbender in this case) managed to drag along by the leg until the dead weight became too much. It had so much potential to be great, but squandered it all on poorly defined philosophy, uninteresting characters, and Damon Lindelof!
I give Prometheus: 6 / 10. Wait for it to come out on DVD and watch Alien instead.
I’m Papa Kenn, and I’ll see you next review!