Aeus Reviews Prometheus
Prometheus marks the long awaited return of Ridley Scott into the Science Fiction arena, the culmination of a 30 year hiatus that has over recent months been at the forefront of the public eye due largely to an extremely effective marketing campaign by 20th Century Fox – albeit a somewhat misrepresenting one.
Yes, Prometheus is not quite the film the trailers would have you believe. Advertised as something of an action movie experience, Prometheus is in fact a film that takes its time being..well…I’m not quite not sure what the film is trying to be, and I’m not quite sure it does either.
The central theme, or question of the movie is ‘what does it mean to be created?’ – a question that offers a wealth of ideas to be discussed that could carry any plot, however the film shies from taking bold steps into real depth and ends up desceding into what is essentially an uninteresting haunted house movie where you care more about having these ideas discussed than you do the fate of the characters.
This could also be because the characters largely aren’t that great. Whilst Michael Fassbender offers a stellar performance as the scenery chewing David 8 and Noomi Rapace delivers for the most part as conflicted theologist Elizabeth Shaw, the rest of the cast is left with rather unmemorable roles – less it seems due to editing than issues with the script itself. Characters are one dimensional, and some arcs and payoffs that I won’t spoil feel forced.
Paced badly the film drags its narrative along at an inconsistent rate. The third act especially guilty with stop-start action and some frankly bizzare choices both in character and in plot – leaving the story with less a conclusion and more of a wink-nudge.
As this is a Ridley Scott film however, the visuals don’t dissapoint – from the expansive landscapes to the claustraphobic interiors Dariusz Wolski does a terrific job of capturing the grandeur of the story. It is sad then that no where in the 124 minute run time is there an image that will remain as firmly embedded in our minds as those given to us 30 years ago in Blade Runner and Alien. However the striking images of otherworld lifeforms and structures are presented in a seemless blend of practical and non practical effects that arrive like a breath of fresh air in a summer drowning in computer generated imagery.
Marc Streitenfeld delivers with a simple but effective score – that although lives in the unfortunate shadow of Jerry Goldsmith’s stellar work on Alien, serves the plot well and accentuates the images on screen rather than giving them a loud facelift. One or two nitpicks though Marc, scoring an orchestral eruption alongside a jump-scare is tantamount to scene suicide.
Overall Prometheus is by no means a bad movie, it’s just not a great movie. It’s the flawed and confused younger sibling that sits awkwardly next to it’s 30 year old brothers – they share the same DNA but have grown up generations apart.
Those looking for future sci-fi on the horizon shouldn’t fret – Fox’s stellar marketing campaign should give the film decent takings at the box office, and the plot certainly declares its intentions to continue before the credits roll. The irony there being in a film about questions the only one it left me with is ‘do I really need more?
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