Hype. It has the potential to make a movie a success, but is oftentimes leads to bitter disappointment. While there has been a lot of hype surrounding this summer’s movie lineup, I’m hard-pressed to think of one with hysteria than Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s first sci-fi film in three decades, which I recently saw in Imax 3D.
The big question surrounding the film, at least with hardcore Ridley Scott fans, was: is this a prequel to Alien? The answer wasn’t very clear prior to the film’s release, though IMDb provides a satisfying explanation:
“Was originally conceived as a prequel to Ridley Scott's Alien, but Scott announced his decision to turn it into an original film with Noomi Rapace (who was already set to star) still in the cast as one of five main characters. Some time later it was confirmed that while the movie would take place in the same universe as Alien and greatly reference that movie, it would mostly be an original movie and not a direct prequel. “
I enjoy the Alien franchise, though I wouldn’t classify myself as a fan boy. With that said, I was expecting an action-packed film set in space with a unique storyline. Given Scott’s success with Alien, I don’t think my expectations for the movie were extreme. Unfortunately, it would meet only one of my expectations . . . it was set in space.
I hate to say it, but Prometheus was lackluster. It had a few exciting moments, but on the whole it took its time to flesh out the storyline, which is basically the search for the origin of mankind intertwined with aliens and disaster. The origin question is ultimately answered, but the “why” of it is left unresolved. It’s a big topic to tackle, and I wasn’t really satisfied with how they handled it.
As I mentioned, the film takes it time to lay out the storyline, and as a result other things are sacrificed, most notably character development. Was David, played by Michael Fassbender, a good guy or a villain? Who were the other people on the mission and what purpose did they serve?
Likewise, the film did a pretty bad job of foreshadowing. For instance, it is randomly revealed that the main character is unable to have children. Minutes later it is revealed that she is pregnant. “That’s impossible,” she says. Of course she ends up being knocked up by an alien baby, an unnecessary and off-putting (remember I saw this in Imax 3D) “birth” scene ensued, and the whole debacle plays a major role at the end if the film.
Another thing I wasn’t thrilled about was Guy Pearce playing Peter Weyland, an aged and dying billionaire intent on “meeting his maker.” While I generally like Pearce, I don’t understand why they would hire a young actor to don cosmetics and portray and old man. The prosthetics looked cheesy and fake, and I couldn’t help but wonder why they didn’t cast an experience veteran for the role like Brian Cox, Anthony Hopkins, etc.
The film did have two highlights in my opinion. The first was excellent special effects, which worked well in the Imax 3D setting. The second were the performances. Granted, the character development was weak, but the talent did a good job with what they were given.
It’s no secret that I like me some Idris Elba, and he was highly entertaining in his supporting role as Janek. Likewise, Fassbender was spot playing the part of an android, and he continues to drive my belief that he is one of Hollywood’s best new talents. Finally, I was impressed with Noomi Rapace in the lead role. I know she did Sweden’s version of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, though I’ve never seen it. That aside, she did a fine job in Prometheus and I expect we’ll see more of her in American cinema.
It wasn’t that Prometheus was bad, because it wasn’t. The problem is that it wasn’t very good. For a film with so much hype and expectation, I left feeling unsatisfied as nothing stood out as overly special. It pains me to say it because I wanted the film to be good, but I think most people are going to feel the same way I did.
Buddies Forever Movie Club Rating: 64%