Film Review: Prometheus
Hmm, pretentious sort-of prequel to classic space horror?
Proceed with caution.
TL;DR Mostly effective, occasionally deep and boring. Come for the CGI, stay for the sporadic action, filter out the preachiness. 3 out of 5 stars.
Is preachiness a word? IDGAF.
So yeah, this is set in the same universe as the Alien movies. Remember those? The first 2 were good, the 3rd one was laborious and the 4th one had Winona Ryder? Okay, we’re up to speed.
So Prometheus’ plot sees a group of space scientists seeking out the meaning of life or some shit. They go to a planet where they think the progenitors of humankind might be chillin’. Alien bioweaponry fucks their shit up. Themes about god ensue. Fassbender doesn’t get his penis out.
Aww. Imagine how much rule 34 a Fassy robot penis would generate. Missed opportunity, Ridley.
The problem with this movie is that it’s too into its super special message. All the action scenes with people getting attacked by black goo and big albino muscle studs are fantastic. They’re thrilling and the effects are mesmerising. But each time you get a taste of excitement, the characters all decide to sit around and whinge about their daddy issues and what it means to understand god.
If this had been all space-horror-action, I would have been happy. And if this had been all philosophical wangsting, I think I still would have been happy (just a bit more bored). But don’t fucking show me all this cool shit then bog me down with Charlize Theron period-ing because daddy doesn’t love her. Or Fassy trying to imbue emotion into his robotic, blonde hair.
Give me Solaris, or give me more alien penis cobras.
Why I hate this movie:
David (Fassy) is a fucking douchebag. It is revealed that Weyland (Guy Pearce) has programmed him to do most of the stuff he does, but holy crap he’s a douche.
One thing he does which doesn’t get a real explanation is poison Holloway’s drink with black goo. This causes Holloway’s death, but it’s never explained why David does it. Holloway does say he would “do anything” to help the expedition, but David’s programming didn’t even know about the black goo. Weyland wanted to meet an Engineer (the big white dudes) to extend his life. That’s it.
While we’re talking about Weyland, why did they go to so much trouble to make Guy Pearce look older when they could have just cast an older actor? The fake face isn’t very convincing, and Weyland doesn’t do anything physical. What the hell?
I get that the movie is all about the nature of god, and creation of life, and parental relationships blah blah blah, but there’s a considerable dose of wangst here. Noomi being barren and having a cry about it then getting “impregnated” with an alien baby is just overkill. And Charlize is way too hung up on her father. Bitch is hot, rich and blonde. Just fucking rip David apart and get over it.
Charlize and Noomi don’t run to the side when the Engineer craft is crashing down on them. Goddammit, Charlize.
Noomi finds a decapitated Engineer head. Instead of taking the time to test it properly, she jabs some electrical thing into it to reanimate it. It’s fucking disgusting and horrifyingly bad science. It explodes into goop 2 seconds later. Really, Noomi? This mission cost trillions of dollars and you fucking ruin your specimen out of impatience? You are terrible at your job.
When Fifield and Glasses get attacked by the penis cobra there is conveniently nobody monitoring them. Despite the fact that there were earlier readings of movement in the vicinity.
Further incompetence pops up when mutated Fifield returns to the ship and kills a bunch of people. You’d think they would have at least taken a look at his mangled body before opening the hatch.
David survives. Ugh.
Noomi survives. Ugh.
Oh, and everything is super blue. Real is blue in sci-fi, apparently.
Reasons to watch:
When the action is on, it’s pretty good. The penis cobra attack is the standout. The Engineer’s assault on Weyland etc after he’s awoken is pretty badass, too, culminating in a cat/mouse thing with Noomi.
She wins by realising the alien baby she extracted earlier has grown and is now a huge tentacle nightmare and sics it on the Engineer. It’s disgustingly effective.
Speaking of the alien baby, the self-surgery scene is awesome. She hops in an automated surgery pod thing, and watches as it lasers her gut open and rips the alien out. It’s visceral.
In fact, the CGI here is fucking top notch shit. I can’t think of any instance where it detracted from the action. The filmmakers also made sure to include practical effects (like some shots of the penis cobra), and they work perfectly together.
Although the themes are a bit heavy handed, they do work. I was impressed that they never found out why the Engineers decided to exterminate humanity (or why they bothered creating them in the first place). The Engineers’ motives are a total mystery, and it didn’t piss me off. That’s an achievement.
During a “what David did for 2 years while the humans were in stasis” montage, it shows him dying his roots. I lol’d.
Charlize looks hot, even with crap hair. She is stunning.
Fifield and Glasses correctly identify a bad situation when the crew first discovers the jar room. Although they die because of it, it’s nice to see both genre savvy characters and a subversion of their savviness.
Charlize uses a flamethrower to kill Holloway. Like a boss. Because she is the boss.
Fifield smokes weed inside his space suit. Points.
There are sublte(ish) references to Alien. The inside of the Engineers’ ship should look familiar to fans of the first film, and a version of the classic Alien baddie appears in the stinger.
Oh, yeah, the Engineer gets chest bursted. It’s slushy.
Best line goes to David with this inexplicably cruel compliment to Noomi after she gets her surgery on: “I didn’t think you had it in you. Sorry, poor choice of words.” Fucking Fassy robot burn.
And David getting his head ripped off by the Engineer was the ultimate satisfaction.
If you can tolerate a bit of religious pondering, then you should have a good enough time. The aliens are scary, the effects are immaculate, the story isn’t crap. But goddammit, ladies. Really? You ran straight ahead? Dumbasses. 3 out of 5 stars.