Prometheus (Movie Review)

I finally got to watch the movie Prometheus the other night! [1]

I gotta tell you, my little geeks and nerdlings, I was at first very enthusiastic about seeing Prometheus, a kind of ‘prequel’ (but not really [2]) to the Alien franchise of science fiction movies.

(Promethus DVD cover)

And then I started hearing all this loose talk about how Prometheus was a huge disappointment and how, as a result, scores of science fiction geeks and Ridley Scott fans were self-immolating at Comic-Con. OK, on that last part I may be just a bit confused.

But the point is, it dampened my enthusiasm.

So, it was with a bit of trepidation that I slapped the DVD into the old coal-burning computer with the water-cooled monitor to see if my most recent movie purchase was a big waste of money.

(Noomi Rapace as archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw)

OK, here’s the deal (as per the Gospel According to Wikipedia)… In 2089, archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discover a star map in Scotland that matches others from several unconnected ancient cultures. They interpret this as an invitation from humanity’s forerunners, the “Engineers”. Peter Weyland, the elderly CEO of Weyland Corporation, funds the creation of the scientific vessel Prometheus to follow the map to the distant moon LV-223. The ship’s crew travels in stasis while the android David monitors their voyage. Arriving in 2093, they are informed of their mission to find the Engineers. Mission director Meredith Vickers orders the crew to avoid making contact without her permission.

Needless to say, the crew makes contact without her permission, bringing the ‘Alien’ life form back to the ship.

Mayhem ensues when… various crew members become infected with the Alien life form. Shaw, for example, is pregnant with an alien offspring. Fearing the worst, she uses an automated surgery table to extract and subdue the squid-like fetus.

My two cents… I wouldn’t call Prometheus disappointing but I would call it confusing. There are many important questions in this movie.  Who are the Engineers… the tall humanoid creatures who, presumably, created us in their image and, apparently, invited us to come find them? Their ultimate weapon of mass destruction, the Alien life forms, seems to have been intended for use on us. Why would the Engineers, our ‘creators’, want our destruction? Were we failures? Disappointments? Did they, like G-d in the story of Noah, regret creating us and plan our extermination? None of these questions are answered in the movie. This was a bit annoying for me because the whole point of the Prometheus mission is to find answers… and at the end we have, if anything, more questions.

(Charlize Theron as Prometheus’ mission director Meredith Vickers) 

We also have scientists acting in very silly and unscientific ways. Apparently, when scientists go on a mission to find new life forms, their reaction to finding said life forms is to run away, screaming like little girls. Also, and this is common right across movie genres, when running away from an unstoppable force moving or falling in a straight yet narrow line (a runaway vehicle, a collapsing structure or, in this case, a rolling croissant of a space station), the runners never think of moving to the side and letting the object zip past them. No… they always try to outrun the thing in the very direction in which it is headed. Luckily, Shaw (the runner) falls and realizes that if she only rolls away a few feet to the side, death by enormous intergalactic french pastry is no longer a problem.

Visually, the movie is stunning. The effects are elegant and of the highest quality. It is both spectacular and mesmerizing. The entire visual design is, sorry kids, out of this world.

(Hint: When trying to outrun an enormous rolling space vehicle, get out of its path!)

As for the performances, I liked them a lot. Noomi Rapace as the religious archaeologist turned Alien warrior is both innocent and tough. Michael Fassbender as David, an android that acts as the ship’s butler and maintenance man, is brilliant in his almost Spock-like robotic efficiency. As for Charlize Theron’s performance as Vickers, the Weyland Corporation employee who is sent to monitor the expedition, Theron plays her as such a ‘corporate bad guy’, such a bloodless, emotionless agenda in a suit, I suspect the character is quite literally an android… perhaps a more advanced model than David.

Bottom line… I liked this movie a lot. But… there damn well better be a ‘prequel sequel’ to Prometheus in order to clear up all the stuff raised by this movie!

One and three-quarters android thumbs up!

aa-tribalfang

_____________________________________________________________

[1] Prometheus Movie Blurb (as per official site): A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

[2] Prometheus, a 2012 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, was originally conceived as a prequel to Alien. Development of the film began in the early 2000s as a fifth installment in the Alien franchise. Scott and director James Cameron developed ideas for a story that would serve as a prequel to Alien. By 2003, the development of Alien vs. Predator took precedence, and the prequel project remained dormant until 2009 when Scott again showed interest. Jon Spaihts wrote a script for an Alien prequel, but Scott opted for a different direction. In late 2010, Damon Lindelof joined the project to rewrite Spaihts’s script, and he and Scott developed a story that precedes the events of Alien but is not directly connected to that franchise. According to Scott, although the film shares “strands of Alien‘s DNA, so to speak”, and takes place in the same universe, Prometheus explores its own mythology and ideas.

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6 comments on “Prometheus (Movie Review)

  1. renxkyoko says:

    ‘Course I’ll watch this no matter what. I watch C-movies with glee, any will do. I’m sure this will be a treat.

    • vampyrefangs says:

      You’ll totally like Prometheus, Ren. It really is a stunning piece of work. It just left me going “WTF?” at the end… but maybe there will be a sequel that will ‘splain to me.

  2. Geordie says:

    Excellent review/article, I totally agree. There was such a level of expectation on this when it came out that it was almost doomed to fail… there are a lot of unanswered questions, however, it is great fun and looks amazing.

  3. theblah95 says:

    Agree with this. Epecially with the unanswered/confusion questions. Looking forward to the two sequels though to clear these up

    http://themoviedeedat.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/movie-review-prometheus/

  4. vampyrefangs says:

    Thanks for your comments! I too look forward to more sequels!

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