Friday, June 15, 2012

Prometheus (2012) Review

By Paco McCullough 

Prometheus, the highly anticipated semi-prequel to Ridley Scott's
classic Alien, is nothing if not ambitious. The film dares to ask
philosophical questions, attempting to be more along the lines of Tarkovsky's films or Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Even the name is more ambitious, evoking
classic Greek mythology instead of flesh-tearing xenomorphs. Perhaps
Icarus would have been a better name, though. Much like that tale,
Prometheus attempts too much, and crashes to the ground as a result.

Prometheus's story follows the crew of the spaceship of the titular name as
they go to a distant planet that may explain how mankind was created.
It asks many questions, and gives no real answers. The viewer will be
asking many more, given the mind-blowing number of plot holes and
inexplicable character motivations. The two main protagonists, a pair
of anthropologists (played by Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green),
are bland. However, the supporting cast is stellar. Michael Fassbender
steals the show, giving another incredible performance as David, the
ship's android.

The largest flaw of the film is it's inexplicable attempt to be both
highbrow, introspective sci-fi, and a movie where giant monsters eat
people. The stilted philosophizing is at times engaging, but for the
most part would feel more at home in Philosophy 101. Because of the
focus on these issues, the monster element feels shoehorned in and out
of place. The action scenes lack any tension or suspense, and are
overwhelmingly disappointing. A distracting footnote attempts to tie
the film closer to the Alien universe, but just reminds the viewer of
how far the franchise has fallen.

That's not to say that the entire film was a flop. HR Giger returned
to do the art design, and his bizarre, industrial, and vaguely sexual
style is as incredible as ever. The cinematography is breathtaking and
does an excellent job of creating the feeling of isolation. Overall,
though, Prometheus is a great big disappointment.

2.5 out of 5

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