Prometheus

I really wanted to like Prometheus. Really I did. I have loved Ridley Scott movies in the past. Alien was groundbreaking. Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies ever. Gladiator certainly did not suck in the least. And I am a fan of great sci-fi. But for all the hype and general bated-breath teasing for this movie, it never really got all that interesting. What it did mostly for me is to set up the next film. And two hours is just too much exposition for this chick.

The film is said to be the prequel to Alien, the set up to Sigourney’s battle royale with the uber-mom alien. And there certainly is a shot near the end with a creature that could be the very same species that will (did) terrorize the spaceship in a future film, but the bulk of the story is about a group of scientists on a mission to find a group of aliens (a.k.a. Engineers) that could explain the origins of mankind. (There is definitely a religious undertone throughout the film.) We are told that civilizations all over the world over many millennia have produced images of tall men summoning us to one particular distant planet. So these scientists led by a corporate honcho (Charlize Theron) with a nefarious but unknown agenda arrive at the desolate planet far, far away and start to poke around, only to find that those benevolent parents they seek are not looking for a cuddly family reunion.

Without question, the most interesting character in the film is David, a cyborg/robot played superbly by Michael Fassbender. He knows more than he tells anyone (including the audience) and though he is not supposed to have emotions, just as the Replicants in Blade Runner, you have the feeling that there is more there than simple electronics. And that is the central problem with the film; the script is just not able to let you in on what is really going on. There is entirely too much left for the audience to puzzle out, and too many characters without a character are just there to defer the inevitable conclusion, with our heroine Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) beaten and bloodied, but still standing. It seems to be saying that next episode in the sequel it will become clear.

This is another of those films where the style is fabulous. Great CGI. Fabulous design. Some decent performances, too. But character development and plot got lost in the shuffle. Sure there are jump out of your seat moments and some nice tense alien battling scenes, and I think the geeks out there will probably love it, but for the chicks, I’d suggest you stay home with a nice rom-com or maybe even watch the original Alien. Fingers crossed the sequel tells us the story of what is really going on. At least it appears that Michael Fassbender’s David will be around for the fun (?).


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