Prometheus - Review



The "Alien" movies are considered some of the best sci-fi movies ever made (well, Alien 3 + 4 maybe not). So it was no big surprise that expectations were very high, when Ridley Scott announced that he was going to make a prequel to the original "Alien" called "Prometheus".
It was only later when he revealed that this prequel wasn't really focused on the actual aliens we knew from the original (called Xenomorphs), but instead on other happenings surrounding the lost crew of the Prometheus spaceship.
Although he still promised that there indeed was some Alien DNA included in the prequel's story (whatever the hell that means).
However, by making a prequel to such a big classic in cinema history, there's huge pressure on the famous director.
So, does "Prometheus" do "Alien" justice or is it a big disappointment that only tries to capitalize on the originals success?



The plot:
A team of scientists journey through the universe on the spaceship "Prometheus" on a voyage to investigate Alien life forms. The team of scientists becomes stranded on an Alien world, and as they struggle to survive it becomes clear that the horrors they experience are not just a threat to themselves, but to all of mankind. (source: IMDb)

First things first, "Prometheus" looks and also feels like it belongs and takes place in the same universe as the "Alien" movies. Ships and futuristic designs are obviously directly oriented on the previous movies in the franchise and successfully capture the same atmosphere.
Yet at the same time, the movie differs a lot in the feel of the main crew. In "Alien", the crew basically was a group of "space-truckers" that didn't really have anything to do with scientific discoveries or whatever, making the original feel a whole lot grittier. In "Prometheus" the crew logically completely consists out of scientists due to their intended mission to find evidence about alien life on a remote planet. Therefore the general feel and look of the "Prometheus" spaceship is different in a way that it looks much cleaner, sterile and sleak. Therefore, no dark hallways in which an alien could hide or anything.

But what about the story? Well, as anyone who saw "Alien" knows, the story of the original was nothing to write home about. It was a very simple but quite inventive and unique story at the time, which therefore spawned a whole lot of immitators. Anyway, making a prequel to "Alien" means that Ridley Scott intends to explain many unclear mysteries surrounding the origins of the Xenomorphs, the planet and the Prometheus crew.
But especially in that regard, "Prometheus" completely fails.

A talented cast is wasted on a horribly useless script.

But ok let's start from the beginning.
The basic premise that ancient human cultures shared contacts with one another through alien origins is very interesting and something quite new. The problem here is, that the movie drags this premise faaar too long. The crew HAS TO go and explore the planet, the crew HAS TO discover all those alien artifacts and find out more about those human-like aliens. But the first half of the movie ONLY focuses on the crew finding artifacts that give them even more and more unanswered questions and mysteries. Simultaneously, it all happens on a snail's pace. Those questions aren't even of gruesome nature like the "facehugger or chestburster"-moments of "Alien" but instead just comparing DNA and other artifacts.
When half the movie is over there is quite a huge load of questions that the audience hopes will get answered in the end.
The question-pile gets even bigger when the second half of the movie kicks in, where s**t starts to get serious.
Crewmembers get hurt and die and more and more the crew has to face a big threat to them AND mankind (i won't spoil it for you) but NOBODY knows WHY!
The motivations behind those "dangerous threats" are NEVER really explained. Posing the motivations of the antagonists in this movie at the same level as the ones from the aliens of "Independence Day" or "Mars Attacks".
At one moment an agressive alien appears that is never seen again or is explained WHY it even was there in the first place.
At another scene a crewmember behaves goes apeshit which ALSO is never really adressed. And a whole bunch of other great looking moments...but which are never explained!

There are many shock-moments that often try to mimic iconic scenes from the original "Alien". Those scenes are very well done, mostly due to great acting and great effects. But they lack a bit of creativity as you already know that "Prometheus" is a prequel to "Alien". With that said, the Xenomorph-alien DNA actually IS present in this movie and you will immediately recognize where. However, it's not some kind of hint at the future events in "Alien" or the Xenomorphs or anything but (in my opinion) sheer lack of imagination and trying to capitalize on the original's success.

Questions, questions, questions and in the end...there are no answers. It very obviously implies that there's going to be a sequel. But making a prequel to "Alien" without explaining anything but just having a crew facing an alien threat without any logical motivation is just lame. "Alien" didn't have to explain a lot. It was basically just a sci-fi horror film with a primitive agressive alien. But in "Prometheus" there's much more behind it. Alien origins of humans, another VERY INTELLIGENT alien race, some weird alien artifacts that do cool stuff but we just don't know WHAT IT ALL MEANS!

In the end the story was like blowing up a ballon that got bigger and bigger and bigger and instead of ending with a great (twist-ending) BANG....it just didn't really do anything except letting the balloon loose so you can listen to the fart-like sound of disappointment.


Fassbender is by far the best actor ins this flick.

Well, the acting is a whole different story.
To be fair, the acting is very well done in "Prometheus".

Michael Fassbender has proven himself to be one of the best uprising Hollywood stars today. Well deserved.
His depiction of the android David is near perfect. He superbly balances the overly calm and calculating behavior of a robot with often being TOO human (programmed to appeal to other crewmembers). He is by far the most interesting character of the entire film.

Noomi Rapace was another great casting choice for the protagonist Elizabeth Shaw, which is this movie's version of Ellen Ripley (it gets so painfully obvious towards the end).
Emotional and dramatic scenes in particular are extremely well acted.

Charlize Theron is yet another great addition. While she is having way not enough screentime in my opinion, she convincingly represents the ice-cold, captain of the ship and leader of the expedition. She doesn't care about anything except for accomplishing her mission. It's funny how she as a human being is much much more robotic than the android David (it even gets mentioned in one scene). But most probably that was Ridley Scott's intention anyway.

The rest of the crew is astonishingly forgettable. Another downer of this movie. In "Alien", every member of the ship had a great character. You actually cared about them and felt sorry when one after the other got killed.
In "Prometheus", you barely know the rest of the crew. They are either obvious scumbags or aren't even given a specific character. Except maybe Idris Elba as the pilot, but he's just there for comedic relief.
In the end you don't care who survives or who doesn't, except for Noomi Rapace and/or Michael Fassbender.

As you probably already saw in the trailers, the effects are very well done. Most of the time it's hard to figure out what the practical effects are and what the CGI. Nothing to complain about here. Good work.

Action sequences are fairly scarce in Prometheus. It's mostly about building up tension and horrific moments. It underlines the fact that the movie is incredibly slow paced. It would have been ok if at least the payoff was good enough...which it isn't.


It's so disappointing, it's fascinating.

Overall, "Prometheus" is mediocre at best and a complete disappointment if you compare it to the alien saga.
It's a prime example of a movie that has an amazingly exciting premise, which as it turns out is a story that hasn't even been completely finished.
This is exactly why all the trailers of "Prometheus" work. They build up so much tension and show us so many cool moments, raising tons of question about what exactly is happening there...but we get as good as ZERO answers in the actual film.
"Prometheus" is another one of those movies that are better trailers than actual feature-length films.
Great performances by a powerful cast save this movie from being a total disaster though.
Being a prequel to one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time, having such good ideas and explaining as good as NOTHING about them easily makes "Prometheus" one (if not THE) biggest disappointment of 2012.
It's a shameful attempt of trying to capitalize on the success of the "Alien" movies with the only goal to spawn another shameful line of useless sequels.

All the hype for nothing. It's a shame that there are more questions but no answers on the "Prometheus".


Final Verdict: 3 out of 10


For everybody who is interested in every little plot hole in Prometheus. Watch this Youtube clip that asks pretty much every legit question about this lousy prequel:

 

 

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