Prometheus Movie Review
In 1979, Ridley Scott created one of the most horrifying movies by utilizing strong characters, a uniquely monstrous villain and the quietness of space in ALIEN. The film brought on numerous sequels, some good some bad, but all had an element of wonder and fear because of the rich depth of fear the original ALIEN provided. While not necessarily a sequel, PROMETHEUS is a continuation within the same universe and Ridley Scott’s welcomed return to a genre that he practically invented.
Scientist couple, Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green), plan to find the answers from where man was created. Financed by a wealthy old man Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), they set out with a team of space explorers led by Charlize Theron, a bunch of nameless crew members and an android named David played to brilliant perfection by Michael Fassbender who has quickly proven himself to be one of our top actors in modern time. When their ship PROMETHEUS reaches their destination, it becomes clear that there is life on the planet similar to ours. However, the discovery becomes much deeper than that and what originally was meant to be an origins discovery quickly turns to the possible end of humanity.
The biggest weakness of PROMETHEUS is the lack of character development. Charlize Theron was completely underutilized and Guy Pearce was unnecessarily cast as an old man making him virtually unrecognizable. No matter how great an actor is, I have never seen “old” pulled off in a believable manner. The technique has yet to be perfected and I can always tell it’s a younger person in makeup, immediately removing the magic from the movie. When supposed important crew members begin to drop like flies, I found myself not caring one bit. In fact, I felt more connected to Michael Fassbender’s emotionless droid than anyone else. Which is a credit to him but also a disservice to the rest of the film.
But props should be given to Noomi Rapace (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO – Sweedish Version) who fills the role of the strong courageous woman type balanced with sensible human warmth. One scene in particular, that I would not dare recommend for a pregnant woman, is the most nightmarish C-seciton ever caught on film. This stand alone scene is definitely one that will be talked about for those who can “stomach” through it. But even this is sort of a retread on the famous alien bust through the chest scene. Granted PROMETHEUS has its own spin but is still a take on an already original product. Since we’ve somewhat seen it all before, while still disturbing and exciting, the shocks and thrills can never be fully maximized and appreciated.
Depending on how well you can overlook these flaws will determine your enjoyment level. I like the science fiction genre and tend to always be a little more generous toward it. The visuals are absolutely beautiful. Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski (THE CROW, DARK CITY and the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise) frames each scene as a wonderfully painted picture in an unseen world. For all the complaints, PROMETHEUS does manage to capture the eye and engage the mind. The mystery surrounding life, God and where we come from is a constant debate and theme in the film. And while some scenes may be a little too direct in dialogue and a little too familiar in structure, the overall picture is still thought-provoking and entertaining.