PROMETHEUS [Review]. John Stringer.
As a fan of the Alien franchise, Ridley Scott and James Cameron, I went and saw this tonight. Special effects by Weta.
It is great, but the plot has some holes. It’s a believable storyline, the pre-humans are excellent (they look like Pre-Raphaelite Silver Surfers – gaydom will be drooling), and the Aliens are awesome as usual. Not as scary as Alien I-III (no corridors with big slimy toothy crustaceans chasing you). The best thing about the movie is it ties together several of the Alien story pieces and explains: what the Aliens are (think other-world weapons of mass destruction and Iraq invasion allusions); how humans got to earth; and what/how the ‘alien’ space ship is from Alien 1.
Explanation (you need this). The opening sequence (don’t be late) is one of the human ancestors (“Engineers”) seeding his DNA on the earth at the dawn of time, perhaps Niagara Falls, NOT on an alien planet. Not that well explained visually which led to confusion. The black stuff in the movie seems to be Pre-Raf Ancestor DNA but has been invaded by those messy Aliens in their various life-cycles who swim around in it (we get a new one in this film, a hooded-cobra phase. They start tiny, and like eyeballs).
Prometheus, the Greek Titan, stole fire from the gods by trickery and seeded it to man on earth, viz ‘gods’ dna in this movie. The ship in The Matrix was the Nebuchadnessar, evoking madness from God.
A nice Creation/faith sub-plot centered around a Christian cross necklace (usually an anathema to Hollywood). “After everything, you still believe?” (a bit of a rip off from The Matrix). Sci Fi borrows heavily from the Bible, and this story is basically the “Sons of God” intrigue of Genesis 6.
The characters are not that strong, just ok (the fighting-daddy complex is a bit tired, played by “David” of Kings Speech [Guy Pearce]. There is another “David” here too, ie the giant slayer of Old Testament, Michael Fassbender [Mission Robot] – a reworking of Spock-who steals the show). Ultra aggressive red head Irish uptight geologist had potential, but is eaten early. He comes back though, as Wolverine on speed.
They all had great potential (especially the Captain and his Japanese Sulu) with better scripting, and CharlizeTheron is a bit wasted here. Her end by giant do-nut is good though.
The allusions to the earlier Aliens films are fab. For groupies like me (archaeology runes; deep sleep pods; long dripping dark tunnels; mission android gets head ripped off; acid blood; alien and heroine in the pod unexpectedly together; etc).
It is not as scary, but quite visceral (a self-caesarian section is pretty dramatic stuff) but in the end I wasn’t with the heroine as much as Sigourney fighting to survive and saving children. At least this femme fatale wasn’t the gorgeous tall Amazonian cliche so many Sci Fi.s wimp out on (like “Alien vs Predator Requiem”). She’s just a confused but persevering Seeker not a kick-butt Barbwire Babe (sigh of relief).
Best line: “distance from earth 3.7m x 10 power of 4″ screen text. Some great Alien close-ups and fight scenes (not shadows and darkness on this one Bug-eyed Monster lovers). You’ll never eat squid again.
Held me all the way, but missed some of its queues, mainly in the dialogue and character development, and overall, potential was missed. But definitely worth seeing. 7/10.
Avengers is better.Tags: John Stringer