When scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover a number of what appear to be star maps across various continents and cultures, they obtain funding from the Weyland Corporation to set out on the expedition ship Prometheus to try and track down humanity’s possible makers. Once there however, it turns out maybe these makers didn’t really want us to find them after all.
While there are elements of Prometheus I liked, I ultimately found the film deeply disappointing. I didn’t hate it but I don’t think it’s a good film or one worth dwelling on.
The good firstly, for there are things worth praising this film for, are the visuals and a couple of the performances. The vast scale of the film made the universe seem extensive and interesting. Everything looked very sleek and futuristic, while still seeming livable and human. It made the mission feel like it was part of a larger whole, rather than the be all and end all of this film. The 3D effect were also rather good.
Performance-wise, Michael Fassbender once again brought his A-game playing the android David. Much like Aliens’ Bishop before him, it’s difficult to lock down his allegiance throughout the movie, making any scene more enjoyable by his presence. An interesting character and a well delivered performance. Additionally, Idris Elba makes fine work of a fairly minor role and Noomi Rapace performed well enough in her leading one.
The main failings of the film however are with in the plot and the majority of the characters. I don’t care that it’s not really an alien prequel but set in the alien universe. You can still do interesting things in-universe if you’ve got someone interested in it or a worthwhile tale to tell but this film has neither.
Nothing in this film connects to anything else in it. Something major will happen and then no one will ever reference the fact that that happened ever again. It’s poor story telling and makes it feel like nothing has any weight or relevance. It’s also very evident that one of the writers of Lost has a hand in this because the levels of ambiguity and sequel baiting are off the charts. You don’t need to explain everything, in fact a little ambiguity can even make for a better film, but this is just lazy writing with some pseudo-scientific/faith based nonsense tacked on.
Additionally, the people who are supposed to be top of their field scientists, are some of the dumbest people I’ve ever seen. The whole film can be summed up in one sentence: ‘Don’t touch that, you idiot!’ An unmitigated lack of self preservation, common sense and spacial awareness is displayed in this movie. They’re also not consistent from scene to scene. Sometimes they will show some levels of rationalisation or depth but the very next scene they’ll become complete morons once again.
To top it all off they’re also either boring, unlikable or designed to be canon fodder. In Alien ever death meant something because we got to know the people on the ship over the first hour of the film. We saw they were real people and grew to like them and their individual quirks. There was a genuine feel of dread when one of them had to go off on their own to deal with the alien. In Prometheus, David and maybe the captain are the only people who feel like they actually get a personality and I’d say that was more due to the actor’s personality and talent rather than any sort of writer input.
Usually I hold off judgement of a film until I’ve finished watching the whole thing through but by about the 3/4 mark of this film it was as if a switch in my brain just toggled and all the little annoyances, all the stupid characters and all the abandoned plot elements just merged together and I saw this film for the mess it is. 1/5
P.S. (and spoiler) All of their collective imaginations and the best they could come up with the Space Jockeys being is giant albino humans? The most boring thing you can make an alien is us. Poor show.