So, here it is. Prometheus is finally upon us. I suppose reviews like this will be swallowed up by the wave of critical and popular adulation that will be heaped upon the film. I’ll start like this: Prometheus was good. In fact, I rated Prometheus at 7/10 on IMD. My earliest memories of Prometheus are that it would serve as some sort of loosely-connected prologue to Alien, but with Scott’s intention being on telling a story that explores the origins of humanity. In many respects, Scott has done just that; unfortunately,Prometheus suffers greatly due to its own identity crisis. It wants to be a film that explores the question of “Why are we here,” but, at the same time, it also wants to be a movie about nasty space monsters. This ulterior motive is what truly brought the film down.
On the way out of the theater, I was overwhelmed by two feelings: disappointment and confusion. Prometheus is so many different movies rolled into one package. Storylines are jammed together with no delicacy, and cliched plot devices are littered all over the place. A younger director would have been able to make the decision about what he wanted his movie to be (exploration of the purpose of life or an alien horror movie). An ambitious young director would have probably taken up the challenge and succeeded where Scott failed. In the final years of his career, Scott couldn’t quite put the two ideas together that well. As such, the movie is poorly paced and woefully convoluted. Fortunately, Scott’s all-start cast and stunning visual effects save this movie from being unwatchable.
Michael Fassbender easily stole the show. His performance was incredibly nuanced and absolutely captivating. I’ve been going out of my way to see Michael Fassbender in whatever I can find since Inglorious Basterds. His turn as Archie Hicox was insanely memorable. The method behind his acting must be exhausting. Fassbender puts his all into every character he plays, and David is no different. His movements are surreal, and his mannerisms reflect his android nature so well. Truly, Fassbender’s David joins the ranks of all-time greatest android performances. Noomi Rapace turns in a respectable performance as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, the protagonist. She is an incredibly dynamic actress and she serves well as a vehicle for the audience. She also had some nice on-screen chemistry with Logan Marshall Green, who also turned in a good performance as Charlie Holloway. Charlize Theron and Idris Elba also turn in great supporting performances. Elba supplies some of the movie’s best lines, and Theron’s cold performance keeps you at a distance from the character, which is by no means a negative remark. She knew what she wanted to do with Meredith Vickers, and she certainly nailed the performance.
Scott’s visual effects team deliver just as much as the actors. There are some breathtaking visuals in this movie. Computer displays and characters’ HUDs are vibrant and refreshing. The film’s big moments are absolutely overwhelming. Shots of the Prometheus flying by are exciting and spectacularly detailed. The VFX team did great work on this film, and I imagine they’ve given other studios and teams a new standard to aim for.
Overall, despite a very confused story, Prometheus is worth a watch. It’s one of the best sci-fi blockbusters we’ve gotten in awhile. At 2 hours and 4 minutes, it’s long enough, but, unfortunately, poor pacing really make the first hour or so drag a bit. You’ll be captivated by the actors and the visual effects, which is nice since the story leaves much to be desired.
What did you think? Was Prometheus the confused visual and dramatic dazzler I’ve made it out to be or has Ridley Scott delivered on a science fiction masterpiece? Sound off in the comments.