Prometheus is hitting DVD shelves soon. If you know someone with a birthday in October, remember that nothing says disappointing gift quite like a prequel that nobody asked for.
I’m not going to bother recounting the plot. Just imagine the most plodding, obvious sci-fi script ever filmed and you’re there. I think the most eye-rollingly literal moment in the script occurs between David (Michael Fassbender) and Elizabeth Shaw(!) (played by Noomi Rapace, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) where the android takes her crucifix away from her. Yes, science literally took religion away. Good to know Damon Lindelof had perfect attendance for his Metaphor 101 class.
If this is thoughtful or science fiction, let’s just remake Starcrash instead. Better yet, tell George Lucas to keep churning out Star Wars prequels and that all is forgiven. We have seen the enemy and it is a lame Alien prequel that threatens to go somewhere interesting, never does, then ends abruptly.
There are exactly two good moments in the film. The first is the initial appearance of Mr. Weyland. Yes, Guy Pearce is given old-man makeup so bad it looks like an outtake from Mr. Saturday Night. That’s not what works. For a brief moment, the film’s soundtrack reprises Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic theme from Alien. It’s the one clever moment in a film that doesn’t have a thought in its head.
And what’s the other good moment? Well, I laughed when Idris Elba asked if Charlize Theron was a robot. Slim pickings in a 2+ hour movie.
Prometheus is essentially Star Trek V, but less entertaining. If you recall, that film’s plot revolves around the Starship Enterprise looking for God in the centre of the galaxy, seemingly finding him and then being chased by what might be a spooky monster. In Prometheus, we’ve got the alien showing up long after anyone stopped caring. Star Trek V at least had the decency to delete every scene with its goofy, tacked-on monster, the fearsome Smoking Rock Man (not to be confused with Rockman, the lovable boy robot). When the alien shows up, looking less like the elegant monster of the original and more like demo footage from a Nintendo 64 game, it’s more of an insult than a tribute to Alien. So what? The movie sets up a riddle, doesn’t follow through in any meaningful way and then throws in a famous movie monster when things have gotten too boring.
Look. I’ll give Prometheus points for trying to continue the Alien story in an unconventional way. I mean, it wouldn’t have taken too many resources to remake the original, make another Alien Vs Predator sequel or pick things up from the end of Alien: Resurrection. There’s no sense trotting out Sigourner Weaver because Ellen Ripley has changed so much from the likable character in Aliens that she’d be unrecognizable. No one gave a damn about clone Ripley and no one wants to see her duke it out with a Giger monster anymore than they want to watch Alien 3 again.
Still, just because the movie took the hard road and tried to create an original story doesn’t earn Prometheus a free pass. The awkward marriage of the movie’s ambitions totally falls apart. The clunky dialogue and sketchy characters combined with utterly unscary and unimaginative set pieces make Prometheus a total waste of time.
For Michael Fassbender robot fetishists only.