What We ThoughtGenre: Sci-Fi
What We Liked :Michael Fassbender steals every scene as David, Incredible Special-Effects
What We Disliked:Story gets Lost in chaos, High Concept/Low Execution
Prometheus works well as a blockbuster, solid entertainment but little relevance in story. It just wasn’t the movie Science-Fiction affectionados were looking for.
If given the chance to meet your creator would you go to any means necessary to find the answers?
In the latest film by director Ridley Scott, Prometheus looks to find those responsible for the existence of the human race. Visually a technical marvel, Prometheus loses focus on its narrative and eventually ends up being little more than an enjoyable Science-Fiction adventure. Those looking for the return to the technical and philosophical brilliance of the original Alien movie will be disappointed.
Despite Ridley Scott avoiding the word ‘Prequel’, that’s exactly how Prometheus plays out. A group of space travelers are awoke by an android named David (Micheal Fassbender), that carries the responsibility of possible communication between humans and this unknown élite race. Scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) are on board because of their hypothesis that ancient hieroglyphs determine the existence of an earlier race. The founder of Weyland Corporation (played by Guy Pearce in pounds of makeup) is intrigued by this discovery and funds the mission to discover this race. Company executive Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) is there to make sure things go according to plan.
This is the same way that previous Alien movies were setup. Nothing new to see yet.
The team lands on a planet that had the same system depicted in the hieroglyphics. The first hour is when movie goers are given a glimpse into what would’ve been a successful prequel to the Alien universe. The new scientific gadgets used to investigate their surroundings amaze, while the seemingly ominous temple gives little comfort. Then its even more disappointing that the first stupid mistakes appear once the helmets come off. This groups blind ambition and faith towards a greater race makes their intelligence levels plummet. Countless coincidences lead to the eventual madness and undoing of the Prometheus exploration.
Once the first appearance of this unknown race appear, the story gets thrown out the window. It’s almost as if writers Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour) and Damon Lindelof (Lost) figured that once the action started their high concept discovery expedition could be tossed out the window. The character development excels at a furious pace. Why is this character barren? Could this character possibly be an android as well? Where the hell were those people hiding on this ship for all this time? There’s a level of sensibility that has to be tossed aside in any science-fiction story, but when the fiction isn’t accurately explained, the story fails.
So where does Prometheus succeed?
While Noomi Rapace’s character doesn’t have the character development that she needs, she is Ripley (Alien Franchise) of this prequel. Her instinct’s towards her own survival led her through some spectacular sequences. She showcases just how much punishment someone would put up with for their own existence. On the other side, Micheal Fassbender’s David is captivating. An android that was created as a son and bridge between civilizations, David is guided by his own need for answers. There’s no telling whose side he’s on and he will attempt anything to discover more about this unknown race.
The setting and special-effects are completely captivating. Within this cold, callous environment, architecture hasn’t taken a back seat. H. R. Giger’s original illustrations for the “Space Jockey” and “Derelict” spacecraft return in stunning 3D glory. There has even been new art created for this universe. The space suits that the team from Prometheus spend most of their time in are marvelous achievements in design. The gruesome violence and deaths that the original Alien movie was famous for make a return as well. Between the shattering of bone and emergency medical procedures, Prometheus has some tense, unsettling moments.
Prometheus had the unfortunate task of living up to the Alien franchise legacy. Ridley Scott has only ever directed two Science-Fiction movies, Alien and Blade Runner. That’s some incredibly stiff competition to match. On its own, Prometheus stumbles because countless questions are asked and few are ever answered. The film is perfectly setup for a sequel, but there will have to be answers to Prometheus’s many disparities for many to give it a chance. In that sense Prometheus works well as a blockbuster, solid entertainment but little relevance in story. It just wasn’t the movie Science-Fiction affectionados were looking for.