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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Ridley Scott continues to do what he does best. Disappoint. Prometheus, as a movie, is a total mess. It toys with some interesting concepts, but it consistently wastes them with nonsense plot devices, moronic characters, and half-hearted explanations. Some critics have been calling this film ambitious. I completely disagree with that sentiment. I found Prometheus to be as standard as they come.
Spoilers Below! Beware!
The first half of the flick is fairly good. We have our intrepid scientists exploring caves on an alien world, and finding hard evidence of extraterrestrial life. Granted, there were a few questionable plot elements already introduced such as the majority of the crew being completely unaware of the mission they signed up for, but it wasn’t enough to distract from the movie. At this point, the movie ponders what a million other movies, books, and other entertainment media have pondered: where did humans come from?
That is a pretty big question, and our heroes get some, mostly, straightforward answers early in their quest. However, no one seems at all that interested. It is the biggest finding in human history, and it is a case of N.B.D. This is when the film really starts to falter. Beyond the expectation of Michael Fassbender’s David, there is a complete lack of wonder among the crew.
From there, we have pointless scene to pointless scene. In an unoriginal move, David, the robot, is bad and begins doing things against the crew with motives which are never explored. We have two side characters who are supposed to be educated scientists act like Scooby-Doo rejects and quickly die (well, sort of – one comes back and attacks the crew in a pointless action scene). Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth undergoes a surgery to get an alien creature out of her, and the fact that said creature is tucked away on the ship is largely forgotten about. And don’t get me started on the fact that she has this intense surgery, but acts like an action star during the rest of the movie.
Anyway, this all leads to a climax where our characters meet one of the aliens and more bad things happen for no reason whatsoever. I am sure that people will defend the climax by saying that it is set-up for a sequel. To me, that is stupid. I’m not here to see the sequel. I’m here to see this one.
The film also suffers from just trying too hard. It attempts to be subtle on things that don’t need to be subtle. It adds twists in (such as parentage of Charlize Theron’s Vickers ) which are not needed and, ultimately, add nothing to the overall story or theme. Scott tries to play with various themes (such as the idea of science vs. religion), but does nothing with them.
This just touches the surface. The film is a narrative mess with huge plot holes and unbelievably stupid characters. On a technical level, the film is fantastic. Great special effects and some wonderful set designs. Also, on the plus side, the acting is fairly solid. As other media outlets have noted, Fassbender is terrific as David. I really hope he continues to appear in high profile projects such as this.
Prometheus, the sorta-prequel to Alien: it is a lousy film. That said, I don’t regret seeing it, and it isn’t the worst film I’ve seen. It is just fairly forgettable. You’ll see it once, and you’ll probably be good.