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Review: Prometheus (2012) – WARNING: SPOILERS

09 Jul

A new meaning for l’chaim (Prometheus, 2012)

We finally went to see Prometheus, weeks after the rest of the world. That seems to be how we roll with our filmic consumption these days.

We’re lucky if we see things within a month of release, or on the big screen at all.

I’ve been an Alien series fan for decades. I even studied Aliens as part of my Honours thesis, looking at the way that Sigourney/Ripley was represented and what that meant across the various other films of the genre (which could be termed science fiction horror, I guess).

Some consider that Aliens (the second movie) was a bastardised and ‘mainstreamed’ version of the original, the third instalment a mish-mash of directors who came and went, and the fourth a return to some vitality for the franchise (despite Winona Ryder’s presence…).

As much as I like the series, I was happy to let it go at four films. The derivative Alien vs Predator monster movie sub-franchise didn’t add much value.

I hadn’t heard much of the hype for Prometheus, and hadn’t been particularly impressed with Ridley Scott’s recent films. My brother and his wife went to see it and encouraged us to go. They weren’t 100% sold on it, but said it was worth the big screen experience.

They were right not to be 100% sold on it, and I’m glad I at least had the big screen experience to fall back on.

I thought the narrative and characters are shallowly realised, and the number of red herring arcs annoying. The integrity of this trillion-dollar exploration team was hard to believe – I know, it’s a space critter movie and I pick on that. But, really, everyone seemed abysmally prepared for an unknown planet and its potential dangers.

“This is a science expedition!” declares Dr Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) as she vetoes any taking of guns into the creepy pyramids chock full of giant dead humanoids and rivulets of black ooze. That Dr Shaw. She ain’t got no idea what kind of movie she’s in.

As usual when watching films in this series, we got very confused about the aliens’ life-cycle. While we know it’s all about the permutations, it seems to lack any inherent consistency. But I don’t ‘get’ a lot time-travel movies either, so maybe me and sci-fi have some fundamental misunderstandings.

As I mentioned earlier, the film was well worth watching on the big screen. The special effects and scale of landscape were spectacular, even breathtaking. The opening sequence where the viewer glides across fantastic vistas was something I could’ve watched for the length of a movie.

The last section of the movie actually sucked me in, with the poignancy of Dr Shaw’s flight off-planet. While still muttering about why they couldn’t just run sideways to avoid the big crescent-shaped ship flattening everything in its path, the dauntless nature of her ‘origins’ quest was effective.

I couldn’t imagine Noomi co-starring with Michael Fassbender’s head and holding audience attention for another sequel, however, but I guess Tom Hanks has co-starred successfully with a volleyball.

Michael Fassbender – clothes on –  as David (Prometheus, 2012)

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5 Comments

Posted by on 09/07/2012 in review, screen

 

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5 responses to “Review: Prometheus (2012) – WARNING: SPOILERS

  1. Eurasian Sensation

    10/07/2012 at 12:49 am

    Yeah I thought it was kinda rubbish. This very funny review articulates it nicely:

    http://charismagic.tumblr.com/post/24642414447/prometheus-in-5-minutes-or-less

    By the way, I thought “Aliens” was every bit as good as “Alien”. They are just different kinds of movies. The first one is basically a slasher-horror flick set in space. The second one is basically a war movie set in space. The third and fourth ones…. meh. Alien vs Predator… double meh. I actually really like the “Predator” movies and concept, but trying to mash them together was a bit of a quality dilution.

    If you wanna see a really good flick at the moment, try “The Cabin in the Woods”. Straight up brilliant.

     
    • Tseen Khoo

      10/07/2012 at 2:39 pm

      I’m intending to see CABIN IN THE WOODS for sure – have heard plenty of good things about it (from people I trust!).

      In many ways, I prefer ALIENS to ALIEN. That’s probably my penchant for mainstream fare coming to the fore. Bringing the full military might of the society against the organic resilience of the aliens and their unpredictable but extremely fecund life-cycle…well, my Women’s Studies training goes into overdrive!

      Have you seen the latest Predator movie (starring no less than Adrien Brody)? That was actually not bad.

       
  2. Eurasian Sensation

    12/07/2012 at 3:40 pm

    Yeah the recent “Predators” was not bad. Hardly life-changing, but a decent time-filler that didn’t suck, although the whole thing where Laurence Fishburne suddenly loses his shit and decides to kill everybody after saving them was kinda dumb.

     
  3. ND

    28/11/2012 at 2:37 pm

    The movie made no sense whatsoever. It was riddled with inconsistencies and felt like a bunch of movies chopped up and staple-gunned back together. For a list of plot holes and unanswered questions, see here: http://www.juliansanchez.com/2012/06/11/whats-wrong-with-prometheus-a-partial-list/

    Prometheus was like… Ridley dashed off a first draft, then the script went to a dozen committees, none of whom talked to each other or reviewed each others’ changes, then it came back to Ridley, and without reading it, he hit ‘File’, ‘Print’, and they started shooting that day.

    Having said all of that, the special effects were awesome. And Alien is one of the best films (sci fi or otherwise) of all time.

     
    • Tseen Khoo

      28/11/2012 at 4:03 pm

      Can’t disagree with any of that! Love the list of what’s wrong with the film. The plot-holes were very spacious.

      The special effects were fab, and I keep wishing that these films would use those speciail effects powers for good rather than schlock!

       

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