FINALLY saw Prometheus. Very interesting movie. While I loved it, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Unlike most big budget summer flicks these days, not everything is spelled out. Some pieces of info are only given in fleeting, blink and you’ll miss it moments. Some pieces you have to figure out by putting the other pieces together. And some pieces you are just left to guess at. This is a movie you have to think about to make sense of, and in the end, some of what you take away will only be interpretation. I really enjoyed the ambiguity, but some will hate it. For my money, it lets me play a part in the making of the story.
Acting wise, no one really comes across as a stinker here, there are a few who come across a bit bland though. Shaw is certainly capable, but no where near as compelling as Sigourney was in the mostly comprable part. That might be more in her character though then the actor. Her love interest was really flat though. Fortunately there are also a few really stand out performances. Michael Fassbender is the obvious show stealer as the ships android David who has a sinister agenda. Charlize Theron as Vickers also turns in great work, even if her character is a written a little on the nose. My top pick though goes to Captain Janek played by Idris Elba (you may remember him as Heimdall from Thor. He has a much smaller part, a sort of blue collar esque captain of the ship who contrasts all of the more scientisty types and corporate folk. He puts an amazing amount of heart into his small role.
Directing wise, the beginning feels a little rushed, but then things settle out a bit, giving a little uneveness to the pacing, but nothing too bad. The art direction is among some of Ridley’s best, and stands up well with the likes of Alien, Bladerunner, and Legend. This is MUCH better then the last Ridley Scott film I caught, Robin Hood.
Then it all comes down to script. Wow. Like I said before, this is a film you really have to work at, and in the end you even have to come up with some of the answers yourself. The film is very interested in themes of religion, though it does hide some of this. We learn (on Christmas no less) that the “Engineers” who presumably genetically engineered all life on Earth, 2000 years ago decided to destroy humanity, but some terrible catastrophe prevented them from doing so. Hmmmmmm, what could have happened 2000 years ago that would upset our creator??? The script I think is going to be the sticking point. I loved it. It doesn’t DIRECTLY tie in to the Alien movies, but it does reveal more of the mythology… IE we still don’t know how the Aliens got on the planet in Alien (this takes place on a different planet, with presumably a different though similar ship, but it DOES tell us more about who the beings are that presumably created the Aliens, and we learn us too). This is a different story, but the connection is still there.
Over all, I think a 4-4.5 out of 5 stars is in order, with the caveat that some people will absolutely HATE this movie due to it’s drenching in ambiguity. I’m just not one of those people!
P.S. If something is coming right at you to squash you, don’t keep running forward, run to the side!!! Classic hollywood blunder!