*Spoilers* (but let’s face it, you should have watched it by now anyway if you’re any kind of movie fan)
I seem to have gone to the cinema to watch this with the only two people who didn’t know it was connected to the Alien franchise. And they call themselves scifi buffs. Sheesh.
I suppose I can’t talk, I didn’t realise Ridley Scott hadn’t done Aliens, or any of the other increasingly pointless movies. That said, the first two rank in my Top Ten of All Time, but does Prometheus? Nope. It’s a really good movie. It’s pretty. It could have been great, but for some reason, it isn’t.
I think that great movies give you an experience, whether that’s visual or otherwise, that you’ve never had before.
(see: Matrix (1); Terminator 1 & 2; Avatar etc)
So originality is possible even with a (sort of) prequel. The difference between both Ridley and Cameron’s films and Prometheus is that the tension is missing. I can watch either of the first two over and over (and I have) and always be tense, always be nervous. Prometheus replicates the terrors we’re exposed to in Alien and Aliens, but never equals or matches them. More importantly, they’re not terrible. They’re upsetting (a big cock-like creature forcing its way down some poor guy’s oesophagus is always going to seem a bit ick) but the psychology is missing. The sensitive and subtle study of character and society is not present.
It’s a bit confusing, too. At the opening, it looks as though the big man (you’ll see what I mean) willingly transforms himself into the alien we know. Apparently this isn’t the case, but it looks so similar. So for the whole movie I’m trying to work out how we get back to that point, but we never do, because it’s not a actually a point.
The big reveal at the end is only useful if you haven’t been thinking that’s what it’s going to be all along. Not a fault of the plot particularly, but a flaw that’s resulted from all the talk (and leakage) around the movie.
The one thing that was interesting, apart from David the android (Michael Fassbender), although perhaps it’s interesting as a study, is the representation of female strength. In Alien, Ripley is ‘feminine’ but emotionally tough. In Aliens, she’s also physically ‘masculine’-tough. Noomi Rapace (Dr Shaw) is sweet in a way Ripley wasn’t. Her quest and faith in finding the answers about ‘the engineers’ is touching, if fatalistic.
Despite all this, after losing her boyfriend, finding out she’s having an alien baby and aborting preternaturally-fast-growing-foetus herself, she still staggers on and sort of saves the day. I quite like that. I do wonder about the images sometimes though. Why is the parasite so (aggressively) sexual, why, when it is Dr Shaw’s strong desire to have a child, is she impregnated by something hideous that she has to extract from her own body and kill? It’s all rather curious stuff and, at least, keeps me thinking about it.
Still, disappointing, if only because you can clearly see how it could have been amazing. Borrows too much from the second film, which is, essentially stealing as he didn’t make it.
What’s next then? Hobbit? Yet another repetition of something already seen?