When Riddley Scott announced in
2008 that he was revisiting the Alien franchise that had put him
on the map everyone who was even remotely interested in horror or
Science-fiction were cautiously optimistic. To say that this is the most
anticipated sci-fi film of the year would be no exaggeration. But then
the studio said “NO” to an Alien prequel and Riddley started
claiming that this wasn’t an Alien prequel but it contained the
“DNA of Alien”.
I was lucky enough to see it at
IMAX which defiantly added to the grandeur of the film and if you want
to see Prometheus after this review I urge you to pop the very
reasonable $25 for an IMAX ticket. Because if there is one thing the
film has going for it, it’s the visuals. There’s no doubt that Riddley
has lost none of his eye for spectacle or his eye for detail.
Unfortunately with those two eyes occupied there were no eyes left to
look at the script. Some films have third act problems where the end of
the film betrays the promise of a great first two acts. Prometheus
starts to lose it in the second act, betraying the promise of a frankly
brilliant first act. So does Prometheus contain the “DNA of Alien?”
Yes, yes it does and then some.
Clearly Alien and this film are very close. The nods to Alien
are many from the “Ron Cob” inspired space ships, the obsession with
both male and female genitalia attacking you, the creepy android, the
strong women characters going on through adversity and intensely
intrusive procedures. There’s a clever and disgusting take on the
chestburster scene. The Space Jockeys, the strange creatures intent on
getting inside you. It’s all here.
Where the film starts to fall
over is first it’s characters, in Alien and any good horror film
the expendable crew don’t know their expendable in fact they are the
stars of their very own little films so they do whatever they can to
survive. Not so in Prometheus, the characters never feel fleshed
out, we never get to feel anything other than clinical curiosity as one
after the other they die horribly.
“Oh, a vagina on a stick has
rammed itself down that mans throat..I wonder if that will affect him?”
They seem to say.
Then there are things that make
no damn sense, at the end of the film you are not only left with more
questions than answers you are left with the kind of questions you
shouldn’t be asking. “Why did she do that? How on earth did that
happen?, Why did he do that to him and why would he think it was ever a
good idea?” These are just some of the questions that that my friends
and I were left with after the screening. But then this is Damien
Lindoff the man who allowed Lost to make no sense behind the typewriter.
Who knew he couldn’t finish a film?
There one saving grace of
Prometheus is Michale Fassbender, damn but that man can act. And he
does a fantastic job here as David the Lawrence of Arabia loving,
human hating, complicated android. The first act of the film is all his
and it’s no coincidence that this is the part of the film that works.
Video: IMAX makes everything
look huge and great.
Audio: The score is there, but
it’s nothing like the brilliant Jerry Goldsmith score of Alien.