Prometheus (2012)

Ridley Scott returns to space for the first time in over 30 years, the result: a mixed bag.  I promise not to reveal anything resembling a spoiler as they say, in this brief account. What you should know before you watch this on the big screen (and you should do just that) is this is not a prequel to the Alien series. At one point it was set to be, but Ridley decided to keep it in the same “universe”, but not have any plot or storyline overlap. Ultimately I think it could’ve used some of that legacy.

As for the good part of the bag, Prometheus is one of the best shot films I’ve seen in recent memory. One breathtaking shot after another. We have not seen such immense detail, awe inspiring landscapes and tumultuous atmospheres since 1979. The effects were what you would expect from a film of this scope, budget and with a master at the helm. Idris Elba of The Wire was great per usual as was Michael Fassbender and it was also a treat not to have to see his weener in this one. I’ve almost come to expect it.

The bad includes a plot I never felt invested in, an opening sequence that I may never understand and a cast of characters that I caught myself wishing death upon throughout. Charlize Theron’s hard ass act never really resonated, due in large part to some terribly weak push-ups she’s seen attempting in her establishing scene. Logan Marshall-Green (me neither) plays one of the “smart scientists”, but was more of a nightclub douche who I wished harm upon every time he hit the screen. Best of luck in not hating this man. Moving on to Guy Pearce. You might miss him if you’re not watching carefully. He’s the one dressed as Dr. Evil, but with a small dog rather than a Persian cat. Almost ruined the mere idea of the movie for me.

At it’s core, Prometheus is a schlocky horror film set in space. With some of the most clumsy exposition (“If anything where to ever happen to these helmets in this atmosphere we’ll only have 2 minutes before we’re dead.”) we’ve seen since Avatar. Even the scene we’re left with, as awesome looking as it may be, was only missing the obligatory horror cliche:”To Be Continued” across the screen before the credits rolled.

All that being said, this is a good movie that could have been better. It belongs on an Almost Awesome list as an also ran. Expectations make all the difference and Ridley‘s first trip back to space since Alien falls victim of circumstance with the high expectations many of us had. The best parts of the movie I chose not to get into as the less you know the better and I’m confident that this will be one of the top 5 summer movies of 2012 and I can’t wait for the sequel. Here’s to hoping that James Cameron will be available. (Can’t believe I just typed that, but you know what I mean.)

Should Watch (only if you’re a male though and closer to Could Watch if you don’t have Fasbennder’s parts.) 4 0f 5

Anderson 06/2012

Rating Legend

Must Watch = 5 0f 5

Should Watch = 4 of 5

Could Watch = 3 of 5

Should Not Watch = 2 of 5

Do Not Watch = 1 of 5

10 Responses to “Prometheus (2012)”

  1. Tom says:

    Are comments still being moderated? If so, that sucks.

    A total PAB move, especially for someone who spends so much time ripping people on other formats.

  2. Wendy says:

    The story was a mess, but it was pretty to look at.

  3. Nils says:

    Just saw this yesterday and I loved it. I saw it in IMAX 3D, and while I usually don’t like 3D, this was goddamn beautiful. The first half was great and brought up a lot of really interesting topics, which were never really followed up on. But if you can live with not having all the answers, this might be the best movie of 2012 (at least until the Dark Night comes out).

  4. Dave says:

    I more or less agree. This was a good movie that just barely missed being a great movie.

    But a fun watch and I will certainly watch this in the theater again while I eagerly wait to add this to my movie collection.

  5. Blk Brad Pitt says:

    Anderson really a 4 out of 5. It was a solid 3 but the beginging was super super slow. The ending 15 mins made me feel like I was watching a bad syfy channel movie. Oh and that hands up thing you know what I mean was as cheesy as it could have ever been! Wasnt terrible though just some parts really really dragged.

  6. Justin says:

    Anderson, this article gained large popularity on reddit (no this isn’t Tyler) giving a persuading explanation/theory built around both some of what Ridley Scott himself has said about the movie via interviews as well as some speculation with interesting evidence. I’m thinking Prometheus will turn out much like Donnie Darko did, where the theater-released version is difficult to follow for lack of explanation only for it to be released on DVD with an extended version (although nothing could explain away the idiotic nature of the crew–minus Fassbender–and how they interacted with each other/the foreign environment). The article makes a compelling argument and I think you’ll enjoy it, or at least have reason to call me a Pab on the next Film Vault and/or After Disaster.

  7. VBERKVLT says:

    I was wondering how many articles you read AFTER you saw the film? I was on info shutdown and didnt know what to expect before I saw it. For the most part a very good movie – I agree that the characters could have been better, there were far too many actually. I liked many of the ideas in the film – the opening scene, the ideas of Prometheus, sacrifice, Jesus, what is evil, etc.

    Sure you knew the sequel is already going under the name “Paradise”.

    here are three reviews of Prometheus –

    “And it’s also a mess, at least as far as its narrative is concerned. Almost nothing is explained coherently, and the plot has great lapses…The end of the film is both gruesome and sentimental. Mr. Scott can’t have it both ways, any more than he can expect overdecoration to carry a film that has neither strong characters nor a strong story. That hasn’t stopped him from trying, even if it perhaps should have.“

    “Design is a vital element, especially if the audience is to accept anyone’s physically imposing vision of the future, but staggering technical virtuosity – in and of itself – can never replace character and story values. And this realization points out Scott’s fatal flaw…Had Scott cared to extend this lavish attention beyond the film’s settings, we might now be contemplating a fully-realized masterpiece. By falling well short of classic status, given the great potential implicit in the material and the film’s undeniable achievements, the film taps a keener disappointment than would be felt in the presence of lesser ambition and lesser results.”

    “He seems more concerned with creating his film worlds than populating them with plausible characters, and that’s the trouble this time.”

    Just kidding – they are all of Bladerunner

  8. Marty says:

    Good review Anderson, I agree.

    @VBERKVLT: seriously? Those are of Blade Runner? They are spot on. That’s kind of depressing.

  9. Keith says:

    The movie was a retarded half assed attempt at a partial re-boot of the Aliens Universe. It takes the Aliens universe as it existed after the original movie, with complete and utter rejection of any of the sequels as having ever existed. All the aliens and predators tie ins and related growth of the aliens universe is abandoned as if it never happened. In the Aliens universe the predators discovered the aliens on the aliens home world (where they were not even the top of the food chain) and use them for sport hunting, sometimes resulting in their being accidentally turned loose.

    Now in Prometheus we have an entirely new and unrelated origins story for the aliens. I can’t go into it without spoilers, and out of respect for Anderson I won’t give any away. Just one question that I can’t resist asking (feel free to edit if you must Anderson)…. what in Gods name did a zombie add to this story?

  10. Marc says:

    I watched this movie a week ago and had some time to mull it over. I decided I liked it, but I think the expectation that it would be a Alien movie is where people got it hung up on. I think it was really about the relationship with people and the “engineers”, with the constant metaphor of the relationship with people and Fassbender. It is a super subtle connection, but ultimately what the movie was actually about. An allegory for self absorption, and ironically missed by most of the movie goers.

    This comment will probably be skipped, but anybody reading this, but I agree with 4 out of 5 rating. Keep up the good work.

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