Rating 2.5 stars.


Prometheus– Rogert Ebert.

Prometheus -John Semely.

I, just like so many other nerd boys eagerly awaited Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel-but-not-quite-but-is. The man that started a new wave of thrillers has come back to the genre to redefine it for a new age of cinema, and as far as we look at the movie, without any investigation into it’s themes, it is a success. Technically brilliant, we haven’t seen a movie look like this from Scott in a long time (Blade Runner?, Black Hawk Down? Gladiator?),  I’ve felt as if he rushes his production somewhat, churning out a movie a year, or every second seems to hurt the veneer of his films (I felt Robin Hood missed a certain gloss on screen). Maybe that was the point. In Prometheus however we are transported to the kind of ideal we expect from Hollywood, roaming vistas,  an epic score, clean images, with detailed nuance; when we say a picture is worth a thousand words, we really mean it in this movie. The ship, the planet, even Earth are masterfully shot, the CG impeccable, we see Scott went the whole way with the visuals.

The script, is less impressive. Characterization is either non-existent or bizarre, characters act in ways in which their motives are hard to understand, for example David poisoning Charlie with the alien ‘goo’, was he prompted to do so by Weyland? If that is so, why did the writers put in the supposed conflict between Charlie and David? To somehow suggest David would be eager to perform this horrible task? Is it some call back to Ian Holm’s faulty android in Alien? When you have such a high budget and limited time to tell a story, one wonders why such seemingly incoherent, or at least, hard to grasp narration is put forth.

To me however, all that is less important as the metaphysical questions it tries to address. Some might suggest we need give Prometheus points for simply tackling origin of life stories, but why? I can sit in my room and ask why, that does not make me profound. Directed panspermia, and biogenesis might seem interesting to your average film viewer who has never taken a second to look at these issues, but once you have you see the movie falls short. So much of the film is spent looking for our creator/s, and of course we find them in the ‘engineers’. But here is when we start asking more questions than we get answers. Why do the engineers have the same appearance as us? Yes they started life on this planet, but we do not look the same as all creatures on this planet,  evolution has altered whatever the original molecules of life were, this appears to be simply a cinematic device at the sake of coherency. Only in a couple of scenes is the “who created the creator?” issue tackled, that if the engineers created us, who created them? And if we don’t get answers to this question we are left to wonder why the question was asked to begin with. Perhaps the writers have an anti-scientific agenda to push, after all their scientists in this movie plan to reject a couple of hundred years of confirmed Darwinism (as one of the other scientific characters points out), only with the thesis “I don’t know if it’s true, but I have faith it is.” What scientist would think like this? A creation one, maybe. Which brings me back to why this film erked me so much. With so much anti-science propaganda in the world today, why do we need top-level films expressing and perpetuating this? Yet another example of bizarre characterization.

Ultimately it’s a simple Hollywood science fiction movie, which tries to play around with themes it’s writers aren’t capable of doing well, which the film suffers for. But, having said that, it is pretty, and progresses the Alien mythos more, and that in and of itself will make for some fun discussion with your friends in your living room. Even if the rest of it makes you want to cut yourself.