MOVIE REVIEW: Prometheus

WRITTEN BY MAX

EDITOR’S NOTE:  FUCK YOU WORDPRESS.  This is the third time I’ve tried to post this and keeps screwing it up, so there is a ton of corrections and spacing issues, and none of the links work right now.  But if you wanted to read the review, you can read it.  I would like to note I didn’t even touch on Charlize Theron because I haven’t decided what her role in the film is (eye candy or legitimately needed).  Anyway, I’ll clean it up tonight, but I gotta split to a wedding.  (What up Raz and Katie!)  Enjoy, and go see the movie.

I built Prometheus up in my head the moment I saw the first trailer months ago.  I was sold this would be the second biggest movie of the summer.  I had all of these things in my mind that would happen based off the limited scenes in the trailer, theorizing on plot points, and just what this movie could be.  What I didn’t suspect was that it was just a conglomerate of ideas from other movies with better packaging.

Most people who know about this movie are aware it is part of the Alien family.  Director Ridley Scott has made it a point to instill in moviegoers that it isn’t a prequel or a sequel but a stand-alone movie in the timeline of the Alien universe, and works without any prior knowledge of Alien.  On this point he is correct, it does work as a stand-alone; and as a ‘slice of life’ of the characters in the movie, there is no doubt.

We are introduced to Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), two lovers who triple as archeologists/geologists/general doctors of ancient stuff.  One of the things I both really enjoy and really hated about Prometheus is the way they don’t beat around the bush.  They cut to the chase with all of the main characters, which I loved because they get right to the meat of the story, but I hate because there is no time to care about the characters.  I think director Scott genuinely expects you to care about each of his characters, a hard thing to do when you meet them for 20 seconds and are then thrust into this adventure without really knowing any of the back story to why this adventure is important.

So let’s stop for a minute.  I want to note that I did as much research on this movie from a moviegoer standpoint as I could, including checking out the fake Weyland company website the studio made to virally promote the film.  I’m glad I did.  I picked up a lot of the story the movie glosses over quickly, which I think gave me a better understanding of what was going on.  The movie never references any of the colonies Weyland has created throughout the galaxy, but from the website I learned that the number is over 60.  These are mostly exploitive: harvesting metals and elements, manufacturing and agriculture.  All of this is going on at the same time Prometheus takes place, but the movie never mentions it.  Meanwhile, back on Earth, we see doctors Shaw and Holloway discovering what they believe is a map to the stars, which viewers can glean from watching the trailer.  The film covers this in about as much time as they cover it in the trailer.  Now maybe we as viewers are supposed to just get that these two doctors have a career of studying this and should accept that they know what they are talking about, but it felt a lot like the Jump To Conclusions game in Office Space.  “Oh, the diagrams on the wall?  I bet they want us to come find them.”

So the whole crew is asleep on their way to the planet that fits the location on this “map” of sorts.  David, one of the cybernetic beings created by Peter Weyland (Guy Pierce), pilots the ship through the brunt of the journey, perfecting parlor tricks and memorizing Lawrence of Arabia while teaching himself all the ancient languages from Egyptian to Sumerian until Prometheus reaches the destination.

Once the ship lands, they don’t waste any time, and it pains me to say that humans haven’t gotten any smarter in the 70 years between now and when the movie takes place.  HAVEN’T THEY EVER WATCHED A MOVIE?  Why would you go to a distant planet without an entire garrison or troops?  They roll up to a place two years away from Earth, traveling the speed of light to get there, and they take 17 people with them?  No troops?  No backup?  Armed with pistols and a flamethrower?  I guess humans are dumb.

Immediately upon cracking the atmosphere, they see some lines, similar to the Nazca Lines in Peru.  Well, obviously they were on the right track.  There is some obvious pyramid shaped structures that the crew wonders out loud if they are natural or built.  Even in their dilapidated state, they are obviously built.  Well, send in the small recon team.  Now you have a rogue member who doesn’t want to be there (every low rent action movie ever). Now you have a rogue member who wants to take other samples against the wishes of the boss (every movie that ever has had a shitkicking scientist).  It’s like the show McGarnigle within the Simpsons, only more subdued.  “McGarnigle gets results!” toned down to “Shhhhh. McGarnigle gets results but he gets them covertly.”

Now someone plays with something they shouldn’t.  Ut oh, the group is separated.  Why did you go and do that?  Oh, cousin Merle (shakes head a la Sideshow Bob). I could honestly find a Simpson’s scene that parallels the emotion of every scene in this movie.  Well, now it’s time for a trip to Bangtown.  What’s that? You can’t have kids and it makes you cry?  Like Elisabeth from the bible, Ms. Shaw, your time will come. (I’d say that a young Noomi Rapace is decidedly more comely than an old woman, but the parallel is there.)

Next we get some 5th Element with the undergarments and the Medipod auto –surgery machine that was foreshadowed earlier in the film.  When I had my appendix out and I sure couldn’t move like that.  I guess I just had the wrong drugs.  Now it’s time for some Blindside.  Her self-preservation scores are off the charts!

Keep dying, you assholes!  This is an action horror flick!  Now it’s time to stand in place and shoot a pistol, a la Natalie Portman’s Queen Amadala in Attack of the Clones and Bart in the Simpson’s.

Speaking of Star Wars, here is a picture of a Trade Federation ship:

Trade Federation ship from Star Wars vr =l<

And here is a picture of an alien craft in Prometheus (It’s in the upper right):

Prometheus Engineer ship

And here’s the original Alien ship from the 1979 film:

Alien Derelict

I found an excellent side article for you to read about ships that had a great quote from Director Scott about the his original design for the ship:

“I took the drawing of the space ship off a section of one of Giger’s paintings, ’cause we couldn’t work out what the hell the spaceship was going to look like, and so I was staring at his book, the Necronomicon, and he’d drawn something up that almost looked like a musical instrument, so I kind of drew around that, and said “what about this, it looks like a giant croissant, but actually it worked, like a boomerang.” – Click here for the full article.

That quote actually explains a lot about the way the Prometheus version of this alien ship is run.

Hey, Randy Quaid!  I haven’t seen you in a long time:

Kiss my asssssssssssssss!

Oh wait, yes I have:

Kiss my asssssssssssssss!

I spent a lot of time during Prometheus dwelling on the fact that it reminded me of so many other movies and shows.  I also took comfort in the fact that all of the shows it reminded me of were things I love.  That’s good, right?  That means I like it?

I can’t really talk any more about the movie without giving away key plot points.  Visually, this movie is flat out stunning, but I felt like most of it was shot with Instagram.  While it was obviously very clear and the digital work was seamless, production utilized a lot of grey and yellow tones.  Its overcast the majority of the film, and that seems a good metaphor for what the characters are going through.  It’s just never quite sunny.  Even though they are making the most important discoveries of all time for mankind, like the Count on Sesame Street, there is always a threat or rain.  Or a silica sandstorm.

I can’t write a review for this movie without touching on the religious undertones and overtones driving the plot.  The main question they are trying to solve is how did humans begin?  The lines of this question are blurred because of David, the robot (Michael Fassbender).  He was created by humans to be just like us, only without the annoying things that humans have, like emotion, irrational behavior, aging and more.   The casual disregard and indifference that Dr. Holloway shows towards David mirrors the violent disregard other characters have for the humans.  Prometheus definitely poses more questions than it attempts to answer.   It really does act as just a segment of these people’s lives that are magically caught on tape, with minor resolution and very little backstory.

At one point David poses the question to Holloway, “Why did your people create me?” To which Holloway responds,” Because we could.”  David then asks him how he would feel if his creator said the same thing to him.  That mostly sums up how I feel.  Did I like it?  Absolutely.  Can I pinpoint why?  No.  I just did.  Are the problems with it?  Absolutely.  Does it take away from the end result?  Not so much.

Honestly, after seeing this movie, I feel like it was almost equivalent to a two and a half hour movie trailer.  There is so much more story to tell, both chronologically to this tale and parallel on other worlds.  And maybe that’s why I liked it so much, because I want to see more.  I want to believe in something more.  I want to know.  I have to know.  In that, I share a kinship with Dr. Shaw and Peter Weyland, and even David.  I disliked the Vickers character played by Charlize Theron, but there is an entire story to her character, and I get the feeling we may not have seen the last of her.  Thinking this through has brought a deeper level of attachment to the characters than a one-viewing can provide.

Overall analysis:  Go see this movie, but for me personally it will take more than one viewing to feel like I got it all.  There is a lot of questions left unanswered.  I want more Prometheus.

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~ by maxaverage on June 9, 2012.

2 Responses to “MOVIE REVIEW: Prometheus”

  1. good stuff… charlize theron was eye candy and a bitch. they needed someone to give i’m closing the door/get back here or else split decisions to make. i felt like she got what she was worth = blah. I would totally give it 3 1/2 – 4 stars (out of 5), it was good and I’ll tell everyone to go see it but I guess I was expecting a bit more scares. I didn’t go to any of the website stuff and I wish I would have, cuz i agree with you about the explanations of who and why they were going were quickly glossed over. everyone should go see it regardless!!!

    Like

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