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June 9, 2012

The Prometheus Rant

(2012, Dir. by Ridley Scott.)


Seriously, just a disgruntled Gah is all I have right now.

I had such plans for Prometheus, and there were such sights that it was gonna show me.  We were going to be good buddies, hang out sometimes on weekends, and maybe it was even gonna cheer me up when I was blue. Heck, I planned the celebration of my freakin' birthday with my friends around this movie.  And now they all think I'm stupid, because they think the movie freakin' sucked.

And the sad thing is - the movie did kinda freakin' suck. 

On the other hand, the movie was kinda freakin' amazing. You know that feeling when your eyes start to hurt and feel dry while you're playing video games because you're so intently involved that you forget to close them? I had that feeling while watching Prometheus.  It looked so, so, SO freakin' good.  It sounded amazing.  The cast looked good and - with the exception of the terribly annoying Logan Marshall-Green - fit into their stereotypical roles well.  These are the same kind of characters we've seen in the Alien universe before - led by Noomi Rapace's survivor girl, Charlize Theron's icy naysayer, and Idris Elba's incredibly fun turn as the "old-school" captain of the ship - with a few outliers and a few totally unnecessary characters that don't even play into the film. Heck, the crew of the ship totals SEVENTEEN...which is ridiculous. Alien got by on seven characters, and they were all ACTUAL characters. With personalities. And purposes. The folks in Prometheus? They just serve as filler to make the plot go.  I suppose the heavily philosophical robot played by Michael Fassbender is interesting to an extent, but he wears out his welcome as the film goes on too.

The plot is something I'm not even going to talk about, because I really don't understand it. At all.  There is so much random stuff going on in it that it's near impossible to really understand what leads to what and the whole thing gets lost in this mish-mash of science and religious themes and action. For about 90 minutes, the thing works - but then it get so convoluted and keeps making so many weird turns that I couldn't figure out which way was out. More importantly, I couldn't find much of a reason to care.

Alien worked because it was a contained film with a single purpose. Group of people finds monster, monster attacks, battle ensues.   There are like six different monsters in Prometheus, ranging from human to alien and a few things inbetween. And all of the characters and all of the monsters (OK, six is an exaggeration - but not by much) have different agendas and tie in to different parts of the "plot".  Ridley Scott, I know you know how to make a movie - you made Alien, after all - but you have to admit that your stuff was all mixed up on Prometheus, don't you? I mean, am I supposed to accept that your strangely theoretical movie doesn't make sense just because it's from one of the writers of that Lost show that didn't make sense either?

OK. I'm starting to put my calm pants on now. You guys know I'm not usually this way when I write this stuff, it's just that I expected SO much from Prometheus. I adore this franchise, top to bottom, and I was ready to usher in a new chapter that would take my understanding of xenomorphs and the humans and robots who encounter them to the next level.

Which, honestly, is what I got - a gorgeous film that is led by interesting actors and adds to the Alien storyline. The fact that the storyline kinda blows my mind in a bad way and the fact that the actors are basically playing cardboard cutouts hurts the film tremendously, but I know I'll be back to Prometheus later when I'm not expecting the next big thing. For now it definitely has a place on the low end of the new Alien quintilogy spectrum and it kinda makes me feel like Ridley Scott ruined my birthday, but I'll get over some of that.

I won't recommend that you go seek out Prometheus - if I'm struggling to justify coming back to it later, anyone who's not obsessed with all things Alien will certainly struggle with the film even more - and I'm mad as heck at the movie right now. Doesn't mean I can't make up with it later, but right now - I just wanna sit here and be mad at Ridley Scott and whoever the pitiful screenwriters were. This movie should have thrilled me to no end.


Dr Blood said...

I know what you mean but I sort of enjoyed it for what it was, i.e. a Summer movie and a Michael Bay replacement. It was all big explosions and action... and, well, just something to munch your favourite snacks to without thinking too hard. There wasn't anything to understand. Basically, mankind went in search of their creators and found out that their creators hated them. We'll find out exactly why in the next one I expect but it it can already be guessed at. Thus the "aliens" were bio-weapons (as everyone also already guessed). It wrapped things up quite neatly, threw in a bit of Pythagoreanism and a load of homages to "2001" for the nerds, and just did exactly what it set out to do. I bet we get another one with lots of Noomi Rapace in her underwear again. Well, I hope so anyway.

Anonymous said...

Damn, bummer to hear that. I've heard/read mixed things but was still hopeful. Now, not so much.

Tom said...

Have not seen it yet but a lot of folks I know that have seen Prometheus kinda feel as you do--Perhaps it would have been better if Scott didn't try so hard to find the meaning of life at the same time he was trying to scare the hell out of us again...

Anonymous said...

I will of course check this out and will get something out of it as I tend to not have the brain in high gear watching this stuff anymore. I expect some let down only because I think my hopes are a bit too high. Will give a review eventually.

Unknown said...

Do not see this film. It is absolute garbage. I can't go into it again after writing my own rant about it. I'm ranted out. Just don't see it. If you want to read the rant, I posted it here: