Sunday, June 10, 2012

PROMETHEUS - REVIEW

Prometheus
June 8, 2012
124 min
United States (English)

Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof


You'd be hard pressed to find a more visually impressive film than "Prometheus." However, this exquisite science fiction also confounds those most eager to see it.

"Prometheus" is the kind of film I could write exquisite poetry about... the kind that glistens with love and weeps with lament. In fact, I'm going to stray from traditional review format (if I even have one here in "the tome") and do so: 

O Prometheus
That I could always gaze upon your rays
and never look away
O Prometheus
That I might someday better understand your ways
and strive to ne'er disobey
O Prometheus
That David could attend each moment
that he might sleep and dream
O Prometheus
What the hell happened here?!

The crew of "Prometheus" approach LV-223, a moon over two years of space travel away. The year? 2093. Their mission? Find our makers. Led by Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Repace), who found a star map leading them here from her archeological digs all over Earth, they land and explore what appears to be a preexisting structure. The film takes off with a simple concept and a completely coherent geography that is crucial to the on-ship/off-ship thriller that follows. We actually see how a certain area is scanned and mapped. This overall effort appears to be the film's greatest strength: It shows us things so very well.

Ever since I heard of Ridley Scott returning to form with this prequel to "Alien" (let's not pretend it's not) I have been most attentive. The early images were geek-worthy for taping inside our gym locker doors. Then the trailer made us bow down in unison. I am so happy to report that "Prometheus" fully delivers in terms of a galactic vision. I would go so far to say this is one of the most visually impressive films of our day. The technical competence on display is a staggering achievement this side of "Avatar." Speaking of which, see this in 3D if you get the chance. It makes the splendor all the more splendid.

All this praised, the "Prometheus" ventures off the fulfilling track of the first half with one head-scratching scene after another. Motivations and intentions get lost in space as we try to follow the crew and their decisions. The most interesting character is David and he's an android and he's played brilliantly by Michael Fassbender. Even though some of the film's best moments take place in the latter half (including a scene reminiscent of Scott's original film, only astonishingly superior) it is hard not to be disappointed for such a highly anticipated film. One significant nitpick: How could a film that is this groundbreaking in filmmaking have some of the worst "old man" make-up in the history of cinema? Would it hurt to cast a senior citizen for an age-appropriate role? Unbelievable.

At one point Shaw states that she deserves to know why another character changed his/her mind (a very crucial piece of the plot). I think we deserve to know that too, among a dozen other things.

I am anguished over "Prometheus" as my poem should demonstrate. Fans of the "Alien" franchise will no doubt have lots to talk about afterwards (as I've done with a few people now), but they may not be able to make sense of it all. These outside influences should not affect this outing in and of itself, but even as a standalone story it has significant let downs and complications. "Prometheus" is amazing, you can quote me on that, but it could have been so much more with a cleaned up script.


★★★★

CONTENT: some graphic violence, extremely disturbing images, and brief language

1 comment:

Joshua Matern said...

The script: The most important part of the movie.