Prometheus – Ridley Scott’s Alien Prequel

The long-awaited Prometheus promised to be the movie giant of the year, the massive budget sci/fi thriller and prequel to the Alien movies. As the film met its release date cinema-goers everywhere, myself included, braced themselves for a box-office smashing, record-breaking, award-winning film. Sadly this did not materialize, disappointing audiences everywhere.

Prometheus Movie Poster

Before I put discourage you completely, I maintain that while this wasn’t an excellent movie, it still passes the threshold from average to good. Just. The movie seemed to have everything, amazing special-effects, an intriguing story and an experienced cast. The combination of these things did not result in an exemplary movie however. Indeed, the movie is flawed on multiple levels, including but not limited to; an unnecessarily convoluted story that refuses to explain itself coherently, bland and uninspired dialogue and scenes that add very little to the movie creating a viewing environment in which you are acutely aware of time passing.

Lets examine the bland dialogue; In a movie, good dialogue is either explanatory or relevant to the story, much of the dialogue in Prometheus satisfies neither of these criteria. The dialogue is so banal I started to zone out, the voices of the characters becoming ever quieter until I was watching only the moving pictures and no longer listening. Despite the film being in line with the average duration of other films in its genre, it feels overly long and simply does not have the substance to comfortably fill the allocated time. The cast also fail to manifest an appropriate reaction to many important events, for example they eye the newly discovered alien structure fleetingly, as one might regard something distinctly less fantastic, an oddly shaped rock perhaps. Michael Fassbender’s participation does little to aid the floundering cast trying desperately to transcend the inanity of their dialogue.

In spite of my criticisms, I do have a few positive things to say about the movie. Firstly, in reference to the special-effects; the movie contained stunning, arguably mind-blowing special effects. The environmental design for one was extraordinary and the costumes and models also excellently made. If anyone responsible for Prometheus deserves praise, it is the artistic team. The movie also makes excellent use of 3D opting for subtlety.

Elizabeth Wielding an Axe

Prometheus also contains some very powerful and emotive scenes accompanied by a beautifully melancholic musical score. My favorite scene was near the end where Elizabeth looks up at the sky, wordlessly contemplating the nihilistic hopelessness of her situation and impending doom. Although Prometheus is a ‘good’ movie, it certainly isn’t a masterpiece and is condemned to fade into the eventual obscurity that is the realm of the ‘average’.

 Trivia

  • An innovative viral campaign was used to promote the film, consisting of several videos depicting the near future world from the film. The first was a fake TED Talk given by Peter Weyland (played by Guy Pearce), dated 2028. Later, two different versions of a commercial promoting the David 8 android (played by Michael Fassbender) were released. These viral videos were designed by Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof themselves, and were directed by Scott’s son, Luke Scott.
  • The Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who plays British character Shaw, worked on set with a dialect coach to help her achieve an appropriate accent.
  • Ridley Scott decided against featuring Xenomorphs (the titular Alien of the film series) in the film, as “the sequels squeezed him dry, he did very well… and no way am I going back there.” Instead, this being an indirect prequel to Alien, he decided to feature a Xenomorph ancestor/parent.
  • Director Ridley Scott named the film “Prometheus”, seeing the name aptly fit the film’s themes: “It’s the story of creation; the gods and the man who stood against them.” In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus was a servant of the gods, who stole and gave to mankind the gift of fire, an immeasurable benefit that changed the human race forever (for better AND worse).

Rating

  • Acting: 2.5/5
  • Direction: 2/5
  • Entertainment: 3/5
  • Second Viewing Value: 2/5
  • Overall: 3/5
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