A team of scientists and explorers go on a journey that will test their physical and mental limits and strand them on a distant world. There they will discover the answers to our most profound questions and to life’s ultimate mystery.
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What Scott otherwise has fashioned is something far stranger [than an Alien prequel]: an ambitious, willfully imperfect sci-fi tone poem that has the courage to leave things unexplained. As in 2001: A Space Odyssey, there’s the sense that neither the characters nor the audience will completely understand what they find. Such dramaturgical nebulousness is anathema in Hollywood movies—but it’s also representative of the way science works.
The inclusion of gestures to the monstrosity of humanity are palpable in the gigantic and shamanistic, pale “Engineers,” with their strange mortogenetic practices and their crude equivalent in the synthetic cyborg played by Fassbender who gives an unforgettable performance, sitting well inside the uncanny valley as an affect-less, but strangely convivial, psychopath.
By trying to retroactively justify the immense cultural fallout and industry impact of his superbly executed, pre-CGI B-movie by recasting it and its sequels as nothing less than events in the history of faith, Scott reveals himself as at best a dupe dragged along by a screenwriter in fanboy thrall to a franchise, and at worst as a doddering hack pissing away—or rather all over—his legacy. Either way, it’s not a good look—no, Sir.
Ridley Scott is no Bresson. Much as he tries, his expressed interest in God runs as deep and as wide as popular entertainment. PROMETHEUS is, at best, highfalutin pulp—its true allegiance is to sci-fi and body horror. Characters are mere comic-book etchings, tonal balance is ever-shifting; but this is OK once you are able to accept that everything is secondary to the craft and eccentricities of old master Ridley.
2,9. All that build up for nothing. Don't get me wrong, I loved the visuals and some performances (Fassbender, Naomi, Idris just to name a few) but overall it feels like a missed opportunity. I need to see the directors cut.
"the inspiration we used was David Bowie and The Man Who Fell to Earth, and for films there were the replicants in Blade Runner. Greg Louganis in terms of physicality. Lawrence of Arabia of course, and Peter O’Toole as Lawrence, and Dirk Bogarde in The Servant. They were the ingredients." - Michael Fassbender
C'mon, guys, this isn't THAT bad. Yes, it features Hollywood's dumbest crew of scientists; few of the characters are distinct; the tone is all over the map; it teases unanswered questions like it were a TV pilot instead of a feature; and it's too bloodless for pure action and too wonky to fulfill its philosophical pretensions. But it was totally worth the 2 hours and $0 it took to borrow it from my roommate's shelf.
On repeat viewings, the heady, "origin of mankind" elements aren't quite as alluring as the film thinks they are. The work is nonetheless fascinating in how it fits into Scott's oeuvre. Thematically, the disillusionment one faces when faith is confronted by truth puts it more in line with "Blade Runner" or "Kingdom of Heaven," than with the original "Alien."
As someone who went into this having liked Alien well enough, and loved Aliens, I didn't have much in the way of expectations or hopes built into this one. That said, I thought the first half buildup was far better than the payoff that felt a little less than satisfying. Even so, I did enjoy it, and will definitely be seeing what comes next in this series.
For all the brilliance of the production and the cool horror elements and the Chariots Of The Gods stuff, this is still just another movie where scientists encounter aliens on a distant planet and say "Hi, little fella!"
My first viewing of Prometheus left me downright pissed off and disappointed, but once I started to digest that mountain of food for thought the next day it was nothing short of astonishing. If you're expecting an Alien prequel, don't bother as you won't get what you came for. Despite my initial misgivings as the credits rolled, I still wanted a sequel. Gets better each time I see it...