Sunday, June 10, 2012

Film review--Prometheus

starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron, Logan Marshall-Green, and Cesar Romero as The Beav.

Scientists have discovered that the origins of the human race may lie on a distant planet.  The crew of the ship Prometheus heads to that especially dark planet in search of answers.  In going there, however, they may have just doomed humanity.

Ahh yes.  Ridley Scott's long-awaited prequel to Alien.  Was it worth that wait?
Overall, I'd have to say yes. This is an engaging and artful science fiction film, the kind of genre film that is a rare occurrence these days.  Magnifiying its rare nature is the fact that everything in the film looks real and not computer-generated.  This is not to knock CGI as I have an affinity for that sort of look where others don't, it's just that the "reality" present adds to the dark and dingy ambience.  Speaking of which, the landscape of this planet-moon, especially when combined with the physicality of the "engineers" in the opening scene,'s just Scott at his best when it comes to composition.  From the large and imposing to the mignon, there's a verisimulitude here that almost makes you think that you're there with the actors on this godforsaken rock of a planet.

This is not to say that Prometheus does not have it's downfalls.  It's biggest detriment is character.  Nearly all of them are uni-dimensional and stock-like in nature.  The pacing never appears to slow down enough to allow for them to develop.  Another reason for this is that you're supposed to dislike several of them as they are inevitably consigned to a terrible fate.  Come on.  It's Ridley Scott doing an Alien prequel.  I don't think it's a spoiler to say that gruesome deaths await many in this film.  Strangely enough, the character with the most depth isn't even human.  It's Michael Fassbender as David, the synthetic.  His near obsession with Peter O'Toole from Lawrence of Arabia makes him all the creepier when delivering lines such as "it's a usual fetus" while devoid of emotion.  Given this character, I can see where the rumors originated that this film might also be a prequel to Blade Runner and that David is a replicant.  Not so.  We have the actual prequel to that genius film on its way and don't think that I'm happy about that fact.

This may be one of the first science fiction films in a long time to leave many questions in the minds of the audience once the credits have ended.  There is much that I still don't get and that's not a bad thing.  I like having things to wonder about and Prometheus leaves you with plenty.  Knowing Ridley Scott however, there is doubtless a director's cut on its way one day.  Probably around Christmas.

All in all, this is a fine film despite its shortcomings.  And for those of you wondering just how much of a prequel this really is...I'll just say that we see more of the "Aliens" than I expected and yet no more than we should have.  That might not make any sense now, but wait until you see it.

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