So, I went to see Prometheus. I will admit to being pretty stoked about it from the marketing campaign. And it wasn’t the worst movie I’d ever seen, but I was disappointed.
Michael Fassbender was ridiculously creepy as the android. Seriously. I got the squiggins sometimes when he was talking. Overall, the acting was quite good — for what the cast had to work with…
The movie was visually stunning. The images on the screen were fantastic, everything was beautifully staged and interesting to see. The mix of apparently natural caverns and manufactured spaces was very cool. And the creepiness of the whole undertaking was subtle. Those were nice touches.
The Not So Good
Plainly put… the script is terrible.
Not necessarily the conversation bits, but everything else. Could someone explain to me why a team of scientists on an alien world that no one has ever been to before, looking for a potential precursor race to humanity, would take off their helmets and expose themselves to an unknown Anything the absolute first chance they got? And why anyone who did that would ever be allowed back on the ship?
And here’s the thing. The main character of the movie travels TWO YEARS into space, in a stasis pod, gets to an alien world, discovers that she is in fact right, that a race of precursor aliens created the human race and she’s basically as excited as… well, she smiles. And has sex with her moping boyfriend who is the idiot who took off his helmet…
Of course, the fact is, they also experimented on a decapitated alien head in an open room without even having their mouths covered so… clearly these people are idiots. And I realize that in horror movies it’s often important that someone, at some point, does something stupid to trigger the awful. But they were all painfully stupid. To the point that it seriously strained belief (and the suspension of disbelief).
Add to this the fact that the creepy android already had a secret agenda and was the one who actually kicks the awful into gear… well, his actions didn’t always seem to make sense either. Why was it necessary to impregnate the good doctor? That seems a little fuzzy.
Let’s not even discuss the “I just gave myself deeply invasive, horrific, alien c-section/abortion, surgery” and then wandered into the next scene and pretty much just said, sure, F*** it, let’s go wander back over to the pyramid. I’m not traumatized, at all.
The BWA (Big White Alien) also didn’t really make a lot of sense. He basically just starts tossing shit the first chance he gets, blind rage style, and then prepares to launch his ship at Earth to dispense a doomsday weapon? Maybe? One that may or may not have already wiped out his species? A little mystery in a film is fine but this was nigh incomprehensible.
Ultimately, the movie moves at a very slow pace for the first half, then moves at something approximating a monster movie pace for the second half. And this is really the heart of the problem for me. I don’t know if the writers and director knew if they were making a space movie, a horror movie, a message movie, an art piece, and they tried to make all of the above. It never felt like a horror movie or a monster movie — but that was what it ultimately tried to end up being.
Overall, I’d give it a 4/10. Check it out on DVD — it’s only 2 hours long — but it doesn’t really have much in the way of coherent plotting, and it completely destroys any suspension of disbelief I carried into the movie almost immediately.