Frat Boy At the Movies: Prometheuson June 18, 2012 at 12:01 am
Prometheus is not a masterpiece, but it is an interesting science fiction film. There aren’t many films that really explore the future, rather than make it a backdrop for whatever Hollywood action film is coming out. So when the critics describe this movie as “mind blowing” it’s not too far an exaggeration for certain scenes.
In this prequel to the Alien franchise, two scientist uncover ancient civilizations pointing to a star map. An expedition is launched to find a cluster of planet alluded to in these maps where you are finally going to get an explanation of the Aliens’ origins and possibly that of Mankind’s.
Ridley Scott’s film is beautifully shot, but the problems in the overall piece undermine it pretty severely. Although the characters of Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and David (Michael Fassbender are pretty interesting, most of the others are pretty two dimensional, with little dialogue or painful dialogue. Sean Harris, who plays the geologist Fifield, might as well be called “Panicky guy that’s going to be killed gruesomely”. That’s how bad the script telegraphs the character’s action the moment he hits the screen.
It’s like screenwriters each wrote different scenes in the movie and didn’t quite read all the others to make them jibe. Fifield, in an early scene tells off another character, making it clear he isn’t interested in being his friend. And yet, later, they are palling around. When these two dumbasses encounter some alien dead bodies, they freak out. When they hear about the sensors encountering life forms they freak out. But when actually confronted by a life form what do they do? They attempt to interact with it! It’s a pretty annoying contradiction.
Fortunately, they aren’t the two main characters. But since their actions directly impact the rest of how things pan out, they might as well be. Another problem is that this movie suffers from what I call “Horror Movie Cellphone-ism”. That’s when, in any horror movie, the first thing that happens is that all the cellphones mysterious go out. In this case, communication is blocked at all-too-convenient times. Characters do not communicate.
Another gaping error is this: the characters are supposedly working on an extremely important project for the Company. Anyone that works in a corporation can tell you that corporate managers love teambuilding exercises. They are obsessed with putting together people that will work well. Now that doesn’t always work for a variety of reasons, but it certainly would eliminate the rather obvious character flaws that anyone with TWO EYES AND EARS could see in this movie.
And Charlize Theron? Well, I think she had a total of about 40 lines? Although she’s sort of an important character, she doesn’t get to do much other than brood and lord over the other characters. Guy Pierce plays the ancient Company owner, which is weird, because why not hire an actor who is actually that old?
So bottom line, the movie has a compelling, sci-fi premise, cool effects and an interesting, thought-provoking payoff. But to get there, you have to wade through a good bit of Hollywood hackery that the greenest of the green scriptwriters could’ve avoided. It’s a shame, because Noomi Rapace is extremely Ripley-esque in her battle to stay alive. If you’ve got a decent HD TV, I say, this is a rental.
It’s hard to rate this movie. The effects were badass, but the script was poor executed, the premise was mind blowing, but some of the events contradict themselves. You do find out the origin of the Alien and that alone is almost kind of worth it. I give Prometheus 5 keggers out of 10. It’s an almost equal amount of pain and pleasure.