This week we faced a slight dilemma with what to see at the cinemas but we went for the new Ridley Scott film that is set in the same universe as the brilliant Alien. That film is Prometheus that we decided to see just ahead of Snow White And The Huntsman. The pun I have used at the top of this review has reference to the film itself. Within the film Noomi Rapace's character states that her and her crew were 'wrong, so wrong' as to what they have found on this far away planet. My statement states that 'I was so wrong' as to how good this film was going to be because I can tell you now it is none other than a giant disappointment, and I left the cinema in a fluster as if I hadn't actually watched the right film. All that hype, all that anticipation was for nothing.
I will start with the positives as it really does have them. It looks stunning. The opening scene has shots sweeping over mountains and lakes which are breathtaking, we then settle on a man that is a giant version of a human. He drinks some sort of black liquid and then crumbles before falling to his death. The scene looks fantastic and the same can be said for the rest of the film as the imagery is great. Even the 3D looked good and I usually hate 3D! The fantastic Michael Fassbender, who completely owns his role as David the Android, is also a major positive. Every scene he is in is intriguing and this is due to him. If I am completely honest this is probably all the positives I can find with the film. The idea that human kind was engineered by aliens and the themes of creation and destruction dealt by the Gods is also good but they are handled in the wrong way and by the end all that has been built up in these areas is lost.
There are many negatives in the film which is what makes it disappointing. For starters let me add that most will compare this to Alien which is half the reason this turns out poor. Prometheus lacks the simplicity of Alien, the tension of Alien, the horror of Alien, the script, the characters, the acting of Alien. Ridley Scott should not have made a film based in the same universe if he couldn't live up to what he had already done there. Even he tries to lead the film in the same direction as Alien and tries to adapt some of the moments that made it so good. For instance there is an attempt at the brilliant chest busting scene but here it is a DIY caesarean that is not dealt with in the same way. In fact it isn't tense and the whole procedure seems to be washed over and then moved on from so fast. This is the case with a lot of key moments in the film. There is so much death and no one seems to care. No one seems excited when they discover what they have been searching for, and no one seems frightened when they realise it has all gone wrong. It all is far too easy. It is even ridiculous that with all the scientists on board, it is the Captain that actually figures out what is going on, and this happens out of thin air. This is also the same Captain that allows a contaminated crew member on board who instantly causes havoc. For scientist, archaeologists, and astronauts these are some pretty thick people.
Also there are too many twists and turns that come from nothing. It is like they are trying too hard to involve subplots when they aren't needed. The idea that these 'engineers' were creating a life form to take out Earth is daft considering the 'engineers' are bigger and stronger than humans anyway. I also failed to understand why they wanted to destroy something they have created. Most of the plot spins make no sense what so ever, especially the one where they have Guy Pearce playing an old man! What was the point? The ending was also unbelievably lame. It is over in seconds and no tension is built up for the climatic moment. It is missing everything that was good about Alien and Aliens, which is a complete shame considering how excited all those fans were for this. Me and the girlfriend also had a difference of opinion on Rapace. I thought she was poor but the girlfriend thought she was brilliant. I will agree that her visual performance was good but her delivery of dialogue was poor. This could be her or the script but I do believe an actor can deliver a poor line well.
This has been hard to take. I was so excited for this film. The themes and issues it was willing to explore were highly intriguing, and the first half, albeit slow, was the best part. It was when the death began to take place that it went wrong. I say that but it isn't until the last ten minutes that we really see the dreaded 'engineer' anyway. The film is littered with too much talking, daft character motivation, a lack of tension and poor plot twists. Information came to the characters from thin air and with this information they chose to do daft things. I won't get started on the decision made by the pilots at the end. I have to say I was very disappointed with this film; as a matter of fact I'm not disappointed I'm devastated. This should have been so much better and the semi decent score probably comes from me wishing it was.
Pros: The visuals are stunning, Fassbender is ace and the themes had legs that didn't spring.
Cons: The script and the disappointment of trying to be something it wasn't.
6.5 / 10
Top 10 of 2012 so far:
1. The Hunger Games 8 / 10
2. Avengers Assemble 7.5 / 10
3. 21 Jump Street 7.5 / 10
4. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 7 / 10
5. The Grey 7 / 10
6. Prometheus 6.5 / 10
7. American Reunion 6 / 10
8. Safe House 6 / 10
9. The Raven 6 / 10
10. Contraband 6 / 10