Prometheus has landed. I watched it as it crashed and burned. I went into the IMAX 3D experience with medium level expectations, and waited in the longest midnight showing line I’ve ever had the hot loud privilege of waiting in. When I sat in the theater however the cool air relaxed me and I was ready to enjoy the film I had waited so long for.
While I’ve waited years for Prometheus, I will not say I’ve waited since the first Alien film glowed in my eyes. Some questions should remain unanswered. This is the most prevalent message in the film and leads the audience to also wish they had not attempted to find answers for themselves as well. Irony is sometimes very hard to grasp, especially when you’re so close to the situation. If irony is indeed the message, then I suppose Ridley Scott created a masterpiece. This film more than any other I’ve seen is being praised for asking questions and giving no answers.
The only questions Prometheus ask is who are we and why are we here. If this is a revolutionary concept of thought for you, then please go see the movie. If not, then let me tell you where this movie both fails and succeeds. This movie more so than any other film I’ve seen lately is a case of having a terrible script with a very capable director. The film looks visually stunning (which in itself is an issue with continuity) but has very little more than its appearance. Beyond the human aspect of technology however everything is empty and hollow. I kept wondering how we were suppose to believe anyone had lived on the ship our protagonist explore when there is next to nothing there. This is instead suppose to be a large reveal that they are indeed on a ship, and not on a facility, and instead of shocking, you just think it still seems lame as it has no soul.
Michael Fassbender and Idris Elba are the stand out characters in this film. While Elba plays a fairly clichéd captain of Prometheus he still delivers in the role and was one of the few attachments the audience had. Fassbender is as excellent as David and easily the best aspect of character this film has going for it. The film is undeniably clichéd and simply stupid. We are introduced to our hero whom is not likeable at all and are also introduced to her one-dimensional boyfriend, husband, and fiancé, or whatever he was. Characters drive movies and this had little to no character.
Here’s where spoilers will really be involved. We are shown a man with tattoos and a Mohawk who only works for money and is clearly a badass. He teams up with the nerdy friendly guy with hipster classes who would surely be a coward when shit hit the fan, the ultimate duo. However to no one’s surprise when the two get lost heading back to the ship, which they are constantly in contact with; apparently in the future GPS does not exist any longer. Their appearances are actually opposite their personalities and it is the nerdy intelligent guy who wants to irritate a snake like alien which is clearly rearing it’s head and hissing, shit now hits the fan.
We were first introduced to Charlize Theron who is a complete unlikeable bitch and we do not know why, until we all are introduced to her father played by Guy Pearce, whom we all knew was alive. I do not understand why they did not cast an older man in this role. I love Guy Pearce but his make up to age him was ridiculous. He wants to talk to aliens, which are an exact DNA match to humans about preserving his life that is soon to end. Instead the space jockey for no reason goes on a killing spree, because well the movie needed a monster.
Idris Elba has an excellent heroic scene and then the film drags on for another fifteen minutes. There is a blatantly comical scene, which does not fit the tone of the film, and when you lose tone, you lose me. It’s painful to think of how well the filmmakers set up a scene at the end of the film, which they could have made this film infinitely better. David lies helpless speaking to Elizabeth Shaw played by Noomi Rapace at the end of the film and when he tells her that he feels afraid, she replies you can’t feel fear and that could have been it. While this will not make sense to you until seeing the film David should have said he was afraid to die, and Shaw could have said she wasn’t. This would have been an excellent way to conclude the movie but instead we are given fifteen minutes of the main character learning nothing and instead teaming up with an android that betrayed everyone, and killed the man she supposedly loved.
There are many allusions to Alien, and it hinders this film greatly. We are given a stomach-bursting scene, which was suspenseful but also makes no sense. Shaw gives a C-section birth to an alien that later also infects the space jockey (100% DNA match) which then gives another stomach-bursting scene to an alien. Good luck making sense of that. This was not being overly picky but instead asking for anyone on set, even the guy holding the boom mic, to point out that none of this makes sense. Even the score at times was distracting and did not fit what my eyes were witnessing. I give Prometheus a No Go.