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Prometheus

2012 film Directed by Ridley Scott.

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True to form, Prometheus overreaches

  • Jun 9, 2012
Rating:
+2

PROMETHEUS

Written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof

Directed by Ridley Scott

Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron

 

David: Sometimes to create, one must first destroy.

 

The ship which Ridley Scott’s latest foray into outer space is named for, PROMETHEUS, is itself named after a Greek god. In case you’re unfamiliar, this particular God is not only credited with the creation of man, from clay no less, but also with providing mankind with fire and the possibility of progress. The trouble is he had to steal the fire in the first place and so his deed would need to be punished. Aside from eternal torment and torture, Prometheus would also be forever known as a symbol for overreaching and the often unfortunate consequences of doing so. There is only one person doing any overreaching on this ship though and that’s the director. Not to mention, it would seem to me that naming an exploratory space ship thus would just be more of a subconscious effort to sabotage your chances for success than anything else.

 

PROMETHEUS opens with stunning shots of landscapes and waterfalls and culminates in a bizarre spectacle that announces the possibility of a truly unique and breathtaking film experience. It then moves rather quickly into all too familiar territory. Type on the screen dictates the time and place of the mission, while people are asleep in pods on the ship, and an android watches carefully over them with some potentially questionable motivation. There were months of speculation but now there is no denying that this is an alien movie, somehow connected to Scott’s seminal 1979 film, ALIEN. It isn’t made clear just how at first but it certainly follows exactly the same pattern as his original film, as well as James Cameron’s sequel, ALIENS. After everyone wakes up, they pal around in the cafeteria; the ship’s authorities have money on their minds at all times; disposable crew members are picked off in small increments; heck, there are even things that pop out of stomachs and girls in tiny, objectifying briefs. The technology allows the film to look fresh and updated but the familiarity left me wondering if I was watching a remake and also why no one told me ahead of time.

 

So, once you realize PROMETHEUS is an ALIEN movie, the question becomes is it actually a good ALIEN movie? It is, to some extent, if you consider the word “alien” to mean beings from outer space and not the specific ones from the original film. Go in expecting them and you will be disappointed. That said, I can’t guarantee you won’t be disappointed if you go in not expecting them either. We wait to see what all the fuss is about for a good hour, and marvel at its beauty, because PROMETHEUS is nothing if not beautiful, but by the time the action comes, we have been waiting for it for so long that it almost feels forced. And I know that genre pics like this warrant all secrecy but the fact is the spoiler moments in this film almost spoiled it completely for me. There are moments that are just too hard to believe or too sadistic to be taken seriously. Some of these moments are too hard to truly recover from even. Scott may know aliens but he doesn’t seem to know much about creating credible human beings here.

 

PROMETHEUS is co-written by LOST alumni, Damon Lindelof (along with relative newcomer Jon Spaihts). Like in the popular television series, Lindelof again attempts to tackle ideas about where we came from and where we’re going. And once again, he provides vague musings about our nature that truly only beg more questions. Hence the reason any characters left at the end of the film are only left with one question on their minds; why is this happening? Naturally, they must find out and so PROMETHEUS seems destined to continue its quest, which, while noble in intention, is really nothing more than a setup for a sequel. With that, PROMETHEUS the film reveals its true mission is not so dissimilar to that of the ship. Profit at any expense is always more important than understanding humanity.

Thanks for reading.
LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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True to form, Prometheus overreaches True to form, Prometheus overreaches

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June 12, 2012
Great review
June 17, 2012
Thanks as always!
 
June 09, 2012
very cool review, Joseph. I did like this a little more than you have, but I have to say that I may need to see it again. It did have its rough spots, and the transition between scenes wasn't as smooth as I could've hoped.
June 09, 2012
SPOILER ALERT I liked the movie. I just had a really hard time buying it as anything original. There are no answers here. Just more questions. And it takes a good hour before anything scary happens. And please, how does Noomi Rapace walk away from that surgery and do what she does without collapsing? I mean, she stabbed herself with so many drugs that I don't even get how she stands through the rest of the film. And I really felt like killing Charlize was cruel and unnecessary. I felt like Scott was punishing her character for being damaged and cold. Strange choice, as though we were supposed to feel some joy in her character getting it. She wasn't a bad person; she was complicated. And what's with the creationism?! There. I have ranted.
June 12, 2012
the best films are those that leave their questions unanswered.
June 17, 2012
While I do not enjoy being held by the hand whatsoever by filmmakers, I would argue that Prometheus, for me and clearly not everyone, did nothing to inspire much insight in me. I didn't feel like the writer had any answers and just wasn't sharing them with us. I felt that he was leaving it entirely up to us to do his job for him.
 
June 09, 2012
Well researched and documented review. I was very impressed with its thoroughness..
June 09, 2012
Thanks! I really appreciate that. :D
 
1
More Prometheus reviews
review by . June 09, 2012
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1979’s horror-sci-fi hit “Alien” made such an impact and up to this day, the film stands as one of the best horror movies ever made. Its sequel “Aliens” made its focus more on the action and suspense that stemmed from being overrun by the murderous creatures. The second and third sequels while not terrible movies, failed in expanding on the “Alien” mythos and there were times that I thought they were only made to capitalize on the franchise’s popularity. …
review by . June 09, 2012
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review by . June 11, 2012
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Its a good movie, but I expected more.
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review by . June 03, 2012
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In the run up to its release, there has been much speculation about the exact connections between Prometheus and the Alien movies. The genesis of the project was in 2002, with Alien (1979) director Ridley Scott and Aliens (1986) director James Cameron both involved in the development of what was intended to be a fifth installment of the Alien franchise for 20th Century Fox, but after Cameron bowed out due to studio disagreements and commitments to Avatar, the project stalled. Fox revived the project …
review by . June 04, 2012
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review by . June 09, 2012
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Star Rating:         Fundamentally, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is about the search for truth and meaning. Under the guise of a 3D science fiction thriller, it begs most of humanity’s most basic spiritual and/or philosophical questions. Why are we here? Were we created, and if so, by who or what? Is there a purpose to our very being? The film does not presume to answer all of the above, although it does leave us with the strong possibility that such truths …
review by . June 21, 2012
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review by . June 08, 2012
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   "The Forethinker"      "The Forethinker" says that if you'll visit this film waiting for Ripley to come out with a flamethrower then your whole experience will get flamed. Prometheus is that one of a kind journey people will love to hate because it won't resemble their Alien fantasies. This wasn't supposed to be Alien in the first place so expecting an acid shell shrouding this godlike body will give you as many rewards as a nutshell …
review by . June 08, 2012
         It is tough to tell what, if anything anyone has heard about Prometheus going into it.  The biggest talking point of the movie though is that Prometheus is a prequel to Alien.  But I suggest you get that idea out from your head.  Any fan of the original will remember how beautiful and spine chilling that movie was.  Alien deserves to go down as one of the best science fiction movies of all time. …
Quick Tip by . June 09, 2012
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Space mission to a far off planet in search of the history of mankind's development is met with malevolence. RIdley Scott's long awaited prequel to Alien is chock full of the kind of impressive visuals he is known for. Those expecting a shock out like the original Alien will be left cold, even colder for those wanting an adrenaline blast that was Aliens but for the rest it's an adventure in more ways then one.
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #23
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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Director: Ridley Scott
Genre: Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi
Release Date: June 8, 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 124 minutes
Studio: Scott Free, Brandywine Productions, Dune Entertainment
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"Chariots of the Gods"
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