“Prometheus” Aims for the Stars but Doesn’t Complete the Mission
Thursday, June 14, 2012 Leave a comment
Say what you want about Ridley Scott, but you have to admit one thing: the man is great at making movies. The genre-bending films he creates have captured our imaginations, scared the piss out of us, and made us hate Julius Caesar. His latest sci-fi/horror epic “Prometheus” does all but one of these things (guess which one it is), while telling a great story and displaying some dazzling special effects–but it didn’t live up to its hype.
Before seeing this film, I had no clue what it was about. Scott and his team did a great job of keeping the trailers vague and mysterious, giving only enough information to keep viewers interested and curious about the movie. It was only after doing some research that I found out that it’s a semi-prequel to Ridley Scott’s own 1979 horror masterpiece “Alien.” When I learned of this, my expectations for the movie lowered drastically because it seems that nowadays, Hollywood just spits out remakes or prequels to classic horror movies. And they all suck. However, “Prometheus” is quite a bit different from the usual prequel.
If you’re one of the three people on the planet who hasn’t even heard of “Alien,” first, slap yourself repeatedly in the face. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Now that you’ve been punished for your ignorance, I’ll sum up the basic plot of the series.
That little alien fetus grows up very quickly, into something that you should definitely recognize. If not, slap yourself ten more times.
.But anyway, I’m here to talk about “Prometheus”, not “Alien.”
The film stars Noomi Rapace as an archaeologist named Elizabeth Shaw. In 2089, her boyfriend/colleague Charlie Holloway (played by Logan Marshall-Green) make a strange discovery in rural Scotland: a cave painting that matches several others found throughout the world. The ancient graffiti portrays a group of people worshiping a large humanoid being, who is gesturing towards a collection of stars in the sky. They then find a matching solar system in deep space, and decide to spearhead a multi-trillion dollar project to head there and find out who or what this represents. To Shaw and Holloway, this could the answer the ultimate question. This could finally tell them who created human life, and possibly the universe itself.
The Weyland Corporation funds the space trek and builds the massive starship Prometheus to transport the crew. Led by mission director Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) and the dry-humored Captain Janek (Idris Elba), the team of scientists departs for deep space. During the 2-year trip, an android named David (Magneto from “X-Men: First Class,” aka Michael Fassbender) watches over the crew, who is in long-term stasis. Upon arrival, they land the Prometheus in front of what appears to be a giant stone boob. They enter the structure and find undeniable proof of intelligent alien life. They take some samples to bring back to the ship’s lab and soon head back. Then, as you predicted, they start to die one by one over the next several days. Each of them horribly.
That’s pretty much all I can reveal without spoiling the movie. It takes a while for the plot to kick in, but once it does, it doesn’t relent until the credits roll. This movie isn’t nearly as terrifying as the franchise it precedes, however it has just enough suspense, action, and gore to keep even the casual moviegoer intrigued. In addition, the acting is superb in this film. Noomi Rapace is great as the strong female lead that has become a mainstay in the “Alien” franchise. During one particular scene, which I won’t spoil due to its sheer insanity, her character had to overcome xenophobia, fear of vivisection, and claustrophobia all in a few blood-stained seconds. That, my friends, is acting at its finest. Similarly, Michael Fassbender does a mesmerizing job at playing the resident android. He portrays a cold, calculating machine that begins to feel superior to his creators, due to his near-infinite knowledge and flowing blond hair. After a while, he blurs the line between friend and foe, which only adds to the suspense of the film.
However, there are some negative things about the movie. I noticed several sizable plot holes that are painfully obvious. By several, I mean a ton. Again, I can’t discuss them here because it would spoil the film. And that would be a mean thing to do. Also, exactly none of the questions brought up in the plot are answered. If anything, it completely defies logic and only brings up more questions. There are still several things I demand answers to. Why did the android do what he did? Why did the Aliens put the cave paintings on Earth? Why did they choose Guy Pearce for the role of an old man covered in Play-Doh?
In conclusion, “Prometheus” is a feature that had great potential, but fell short of expectations due to some inconsistencies in the plot. Don’t go in expecting a mind-blowing adventure that will leave you breathless and amazed. This movie isn’t exactly a summer blockbuster, and certainly won’t compare to “The Avengers” or “The Dark Knight Rises” in the box office. It’s a horror/sci-fi epic 12 years in the making, which may have contributed to a bit of an over-hype. The special effects are incredible, the acting is very good, but the unanswered questions are bugging the hell out of me. However if you look beyond those things, it’s still decent. If you enjoy science fiction, or if you just want to watch some people get ripped apart by aliens, you’ll enjoy “Prometheus.” If you can’t find at least one thing you like about this movie, then not even the creators of human life can help you.