Friday, June 8, 2012

Movie Review: Prometheus

Thank you, Humanity! But your makers are in another movie...

Ridley Scott returning to expand upon the universe he created with Alien in 1979, hell yeah! 
When I first heard the news of Ridley Scott revisiting his franchise I rejoiced  at the thought of a dark, horrifying story in the Sci Fi genre, I read alot articles regarding the film  from multiple sources and had a good idea of where Scott was going with sounded very ambitious and I couldn't wait! 

"Big Things Have Small Beginnings"

Science versus Religion, Big Bang versus Genesis theories, and the newest theory (to me at least) is Panspermia/Exogenesis...the idea that foreign life at the microbial level might have traveled to earth via meteriods, asteroids etc and in doing so altered the evolutionary process of life on this planet. 

This is where Prometheus begins, an Engineer (Space Jockey) drinks some dark liquid and his body begins to break down (literally) and his DNA disperses in the Panspermia of Earth in the very very distant past. Which leads to my first question...for such an advanced race isn't there a less barbaric way to "seed" a planet?

Fast Forward to the year 2089 scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rappace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshal-Green) have discovered another cave painting that points to a particular star system that matches other ancient art work with similar depictions pointing to the same constellation.... 
So off we go to meet our to LV 223 (not 426) on Weyland Industries Science Vessel Prometheus.

I went into this movie with cautious optimism after hearing from some folks from across the pond who had seen it and had given their opinion. 
As previously mentioned I was intrigued and very much "on board" with this movie. 
You know that saying "you couldn't see the forest thru the trees" 
I believe that would apply to me in regards to Prometheus, I was so focused on what was going on, that certain things were not flagged by my brain as "WTF".

One thing I would be curious to ask people is, "prior to seeing Prometheus, did you envision the space jockey's as benevolent victims of an alien outbreak aboard their vessel?" I certainly did! 
So now we know they're not....or do we??? There in lies the fundamental problem with Prometheus, far too many aspects are left unanswered or leave the viewer hypothesisizing about the Engineers, their motives, their connection to humanity, the black liquid, what it is, why is it's affects on different organisms different? And how about LV223??? All those cave painting from different civilizations throughout human history invited us to a moon that the Engineers used as a bio weapon research facility...a facility they used to create a bio weapon to bring to Earth... 

On to the crew of the Prometheus;
Idris Elba as Captain Janek: I liked Janek, he seemed like a guy with enough common sense not to go crawling around in the ships ducts with a flamethrower. I also want to thank the writers for not stooping to the typical Hollywood stereotype of offing the black guy fact Janek is humanities savior!

Emun Elliot and Benedict Wong as Chance and Ravel: The pilots of Prometheus, these two were in the movie why? I thought these two were absolutely useless and aside from the line about terra-forming were severely under developed compared to Brett and Parker.

Kate Dickie as Prometheus' Medic: Highly forgettable, there's a certain scene where a ships medic should've showed up....yet no medic ever showed up in the scene...odd.

Charlize Theron as Meredeth Vickers: A Weyland Corporate rep on board the Prometheus, as usual Charlize did a great job with the roll and I love the design of Vickers business attire wardrobe, nice fan service to Carter Burke's attire! 

Now on to the Science Team on the Prometheus;
Noomi Rappace as Archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw: For the most part I liked the character, it's obvious why Ridley Scott choose her after seeing her in TGWTDT. Shaw's metamorphosis from the naive scientist at the start of the movie to the determined survivalist we see at the very end of the film. Her "evolution" was like a condensed version of Ripley's between Alien and Aliens. There were a few times towards the end where Rappace truly seemed to be channeling Ellen Ripley. I was on the fence though with the character being a scientist and wearing a cross...reminded me of Private Joker in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket...another example of the duality of mankind.
Logan Marshall-Green as archaeologist Charlie Holloway: I really had a hard time liking this character, the actor never seemed like an Archaeologist to me, his appearance and actions made it nearly impossible for me to believe this guy a member of the scientific society...when he took his helmet off that sealed the deal for me. XTREME Archaeology on an alien thanks, I'll pass.
Sean Harris as Fifield the Geologist: Now if any of this expeditions scientists were XXXTREEEME Fifield fits the bill, but from our initial introduction Fifield comes across as a bit of a cynical dick, a cynical dick with alot of common don't fuck around with space snakes....which brings us to 
Rafe Spall as biologist Millburn...notice I italicized and underlined Millburns profession? This fucking dumbass got what he deserved!
Would you go near this? No, of course not...this doesn't help suspend my disbelief. dumb fucking character.

I've left my favorite member of the Prometheus for last, Michael Fassbender as David 8 Weyland Industries Android....oops sorry synthetic person.
David is the most fascinating character in Prometheus by leaps and bounds, Fassbenders performance really elevates the movie from mediocrity. 
I found it interesting how Davids various actions throughout the movie evoked different emotional reactions, but you must remember, no matter how sinister or underhanded David seems, he's no different than Wall E or Eve....he has a prime directive and he does it....that is all.....or is it?!
That is what I found fascinating about David, he is a creation of Humans, Humans (are assumed to be) a creation of the Engineers...late in the movie David makes some "off" remarks that caught me off guard, comments about children wanting to see their parents die...O.o whaawhat was that David!? There's some very fascinating sub plot going on between David's view of his creators (humanity) , our insatiable desire to know more about our creators, and the Engineers connection to us. So David has possibly developed a sense of superiority over his makers and resents how humans consider him a lesser form of themselves, possibly how the Engineers see humans as a lesser form of them...

This is the double edged sword that is Prometheus, it leaves so much unanswered that the discussions that spawn regarding the film are fun yet infuriating at the same time....I think Scott had very ambitious ideas and realized he wasn't gonna be able to realize those ideas in just one movie and has now rolled the dice hoping Prometheus does well enough to justify a sequel.
Overall I enjoyed the movie, it's not perfect, but it's a hell of alot better than A:R and AVP:R! 
And if a sequel is planned I'll be there opening day. 

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