Prometheus

2 Nov

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Where do we come from? Where do we go when we die? What is our purpose? These are the age old questions passed down from generation to generation, from past to present and from screenwriter to screenwriter. Prometheus begins with an attempt to answer these questions, obviously within the context of Ridley Scott’s futuristic alien infested universe and not our very own reality, but it ultimately leaves us without answers and an overwhelming feeling of ‘Err what?’. Now I do not want the readers of this to think that I have not enjoyed this film, as really I did, very much so in fact, however there are a few issues that do need to be addressed before I go on to approve of and recommend said film.

Prometheus is the name of the spaceship funded by the Weyland Corporation, that is transporting a crew of 17 people to search for an unknown alien life-form which they believe to be our ‘makers’, a fact they have derived from various religious cave dwelling artistic impressions. They decide that these paintings are an invitation to find the answer to the question ‘where do we come from?’ and so they go searching. The ship finds and lands on the intended planet and the scientists discover that not only were we ‘made’ by this species but that their intention was also to destroy us. Here in lies the first problem. It seems bizarre that the aliens would bother to create us at all if they were adamant in our destruction, but also why would they invite us along to see behind the scenes before the big show? The premise that we were created from this race is a great one but it doesn’t tie in with the opposing idea that they are actually our enemy, the latter point being an obvious plot device to justify the use of special effects for a mini space war. Ultimately I can see where the film is coming from, it doesn’t want to simply be another ship of scientists searching for aliens, but have an overall purpose, but shamefully it lacks the conviction to pull it off and confuses itself, and in turn the audience.

One part of the plot in particular bothered me where Noomi Rapace’s leading character Shaw becomes pregnant after having intimate relations with her ‘infected’ scientist boyfriend Holloway played by Logan Marshall-Green. The shock factor for this sub-plot lies within the fact that Shaw is unable to bear children therefore how can she be pregnant with this alien baby. But the real shock is that she had sex 10 hours ago and now she is 3 months gone…..there is no need whatsoever to write her character as barren. It would still be an impossible situation full of shock and disbelief without adding a loose and pointless humanistic edge to it.

The other and probably only other solid problem I have with the film, (it is not my intention to nit pick here as you could do that with literally every film if you wished to – nothing is perfect) is that Prometheus is very much a film of two halves. The first half is superbly crafted. The pacing and stylisation are perfect and largely reminiscent of the first Alien film, very isolated sets and simple yet solidifying character development, and then for around 20 minutes after the aforementioned shock pregnancy scenes, the film stumbles. The pace changes but not beneficially, literally trying to cram back stories, shock revelations and token deaths into an incredibly small time frame and although the original pacing and techniques return towards the end the audience is left exhausted and frustrated.

However I did find the rushed middle section to be forgiveable as everything else in Prometheus is at the top of its game. Fassbender (the first name seems no longer necessary as he has managed to establish himself in Hollywood quite superbly) is incredible as Weyland’s beloved android David. He is mesmerising as the soulless captivating automaton showing that he is worthy of any award the academy will bestow upon him. Noomi is also a fantastic female lead, obviously and negatively being compared to Sigourney Weaver’s iconic Ripley of late but she great nonetheless, holding the film together through her drive and ambition to find the truth. The special effects are amongst the most incredible ones I have ever seen, completely seamless and beautiful, combining with huge and intricate man made sets to give true authenticity to the visuals.

Ultimately Prometheus satisfies. By no means did I leave the cinema breath-taken as the overwhelming need for answers was more prevalent, but I would highly recommend it for its what will be award winning performances, stunning visuals and great direction. Packed full of thrills and chills and leaving you screaming for more it is worth a watch. So go, watch it.

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One Response to “Prometheus”

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  1. Pacific Rim | afewgoodfilmreviews - July 30, 2013

    […] Rim, like Prometheus, is a film that relies much more on its spectacular visuals than its carefully devised plot, but […]

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