Film, 2012

There was an opportunity to make something really… well, good here. Like an actual good movie, a piece of literature, something Hollywood hasn’t produced in seemingly decades. That’s what I felt like we were being promised anyway. But that opportunity was completely passed up to make an average Hollywood sci-fi action movie. (Albeit an above average one, sure.) Here’s what went wrong. Exposition and mysteries, and their resulting payoff and answers, are doled out at a steady, droning pace leaving no room for the viewer to use their imagination, or even think at all really. It’s like being led through a fun house at a brisk pace, never being offered the chance to stop and enjoy any of the cool stuff you’re seeing. Not that anything here is particularly worth lingering on- all the design work in the film appears to have gone through some sort of personality extraction device, retaining none of the visceral nature of their H.R. Giger-designed inspiration. (He gets a nice, big credit at the end though, which is nice.) Neither of the female leads makes a good Ripley, Elba makes a decent Harry Dean Stanton, Fassbender makes a great whatever Data’s evil brother’s name was, and the scientist with the glasses makes a flawless Damon Lindelof. (But can we never have hot, young genius scientists in a movie ever again please? How base and stupid do you think we are?) What this movie does have is some lovely shots, and a decent sense of being isolated in unknown territory, far away from home. But mostly? It’s like being spoon-fed gruel, loaded with empty calories. Sorry movie, it’s your own fault for being an Alien. But, as someone on the way out of the screening remarked, “It’s not as bad as George Lucas.” So, at least there’s that?

Bonus extended rant: Seriously, the exposition in this movie is so, so mind-numbing. They actually feel the need to tell the audience things like “You can’t go outside the ship without your spacesuit on,” and “These devices will give us readings about the environment.” Seriously? Do we need to be told these things? Were you worried people were going to be like “Why are they wearing those glass helmets all of a sudden?” and “I wonder what those devices that are giving them readings about the environment are for?” Give me something to think about for like a split-second, please. And the setups for later plot points are as subtle as an air horn. “Hey you guys, this room is an escape pod!” “Woah, check out this super special device!” Like, there was almost a sound effect indicating “You will be hearing about this again later.” Seriously movie. Just do your thing. We’ll catch up.

One Comment on “Prometheus”

  1. D$ says:

    Just saw last night… I guess it would be pointless to begin to analyze where plot elements didn’t add up, or the characters’ unrealistic handling/reactions to situations. It’s too bad, because it felt like there were some thoughtful/compelling devices developing, but that inevitably the screenplay got pulled through the ringer, and those moments drifted away along with the movie’s mystery, replaced with isolated sequences or concepts that probably someone with sway thought would be a good idea to add.

    I don’t consider myself to be movie snob/purist, but there was an opportunity to for once in a long time, and after a few big failures, to actually add a good, maybe great, movie to the Alien franchise (which has such an awesome base concept/foundation to work from, right down to the visceral styles of Giger). While it did have good and compelling landscapes/effects, it’s a bummer this movie was allowed to take the final form that it did. That said, I guess it’s worth seeing. And I suppose in the original John Hurt’s character was pretty fucking stupid/reckless too.

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