|Good, but far from a masterpiece||2 out of 2 users found this review helpful.|
After enough hype to hold up the Himalayas, Prometheus has finally landed. It's visually stunning and thoroughly entertaining, but a frustrating lack of follow-through on many brilliant topics holds it down like a facehugger wrapped around a head.
Director Ridley Scott returning to the the Alien universe after three decades is a huge deal. He created a classic with 1979'sAlien, and James Cameron's follow-up, Aliens, took the franchise in a more action oriented direction but did not disappoint one bit. The Alien franchise is meant to make us have nightmares for weeks and drop our jaws with its action, but it's kind of hard to have faith in the series as a whole after the likes of Alien: Resurrection and two AvP films. Scott's return means expectations are through the roof and many want it to be the next science fiction masterpiece. If you enter with those exceptions, you're probably going to be letdown. But, if you just want to enjoy a solid sci-fi flick, you will absolutely get your money's worth.
Taking place before the events of Alien, the expedition begins when Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover a series of clues that implies large aliens may have created humanity. Funded by Weyland Corp, the two join a massive crew (of mostly one-dimensional or under-developed characters) on the ship appropriately titled "Prometheus." They travel to LV-223, and as you can guess, they aren't met with open arms.
Prometheus is incredibly ambitious. Written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, it sets the stage for a host of deep and interesting topics (science versus religion, father issues, life and death, the Space Jockey's back-story, searching for one's origin), but unfortunately, the film never properly develops any of them and you're likely going to have infuriating conversations about what they were trying to tell us on each subject. It feels lazy at times how so many elements are introduced and then left in the dust. Showing me a cross a handful of times and having someone say "I believe" isn't enough to make a convincing case on behalf of faith, especially when the movie shows us a mountain of evidence discrediting that point.There are a few enormous events in the plot that get overlooked or where no explanation is given whatsoever. This is especially painful on two different occasions (once with Shaw and another time with Holloway). It's almost like they had a specific scene in mind that they wanted to really include but then never attempted to justify why it happened. The scenes are exceptionally powerful and well executed, but if you take a step back and ask "why?" (which is ironically what the entire movie is trying to do) you're never going to really find a satisfying answer. So, here's hoping the commentary track clears up a few things. On the flip side, some might say a lack of answers is the entire point. Don't go searching to solve the big questions because what you discover won't be satisfying enough to tide your curiosity.
It's trying so desperately to stand out as an intelligent film, but at the end of the day it's the astonishing visuals that will really win you over. I never thought I'd use the word "beautiful" to describe a film in the Alien franchise, but it truly is. From the opening scene all the way to the final segment (clearly thrown in there just for fan service), it's amazing how good this film looks. I can honestly say this is the best movie-going experience my eyes have had since Avatar. It's crisp, the 3D is implemented incredibly well, and Scott's directing is laced with scenes that feel like an all you can eat buffet made specifically for your eyes.
While Prometheus doesn't deliver too many scares, the tension, action, sets and CGI are all fantastic. The film is paced well and, despite the glaring plot flaws, will always keep you interested in what's to come. The crowd burst into applause after the first death sequence... and rest assured, there are more than enough to go around. The action becomes brutal yet is thankfully never over the top. The scenery is so well done that you won't even notice a change from a real set to a CGI one. It doesn't quite capture the claustrophobic tone of Alien(s), but it still manages to impress with the expansive location the crew will foolishly explore.
As expected, Michael Fassbender downright dominates his role as the synthetic called David. He's fascinating to watch, but ultimately, the writing of the character felt odd to me. They had him all over the place in his actions, leaving me unsure if I should view him as an innocent and curious bright eyed child or a shadowy figure with a diabolical ulterior motive. He flip flopped almost as much as Mitt Romney. Charlize Theron does just fine as the stereotypical cold and calculating executive, while Idris Elba stands out as the sarcastic and likable captain. Main cast aside, all of the secondary characters are there to essentially serve as fodder and are pretty one-dimensional. They all do an able job with their roles, but they're very limited.
Despite the flaws surrounding the plot and occasionally illogical character actions at times, Prometheus still managed to keep me very entertained and is a blockbuster that I'll happily see a second time in 3D. It won't go down as Ridley Scott's next great movie, but it manages to amuse and the visuals alone make it a must see experience. Don't go in thinking it's going to be a mind-blowing phenomenon and it's likely you'll have a good time.
This is totally not an Alien prequel. Why would you think that? Silly you.
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