Review: Prometheus (2012) – WARNING: SPOILERS
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.