I typically write fairly standard reviews for films I deem worthy enough to actually spend between $9/$15 to go and see (depending on whether its in 3D, or IMAX 3D, or a matinee, or if its student discount day, or…you get the point). Recently, I’ve had the honor of sharing with you a few reviews from Christopher Patrick, an aspiring writer/film maker from Scotland. Christopher has been on his movie review “A-game” lately with his recent reviews of The Cabin In The Woods, The Avengers, and Men In Black 3 – all films which I personally struggled to open my wallet for.
That being said, it’s pretty much guaranteed my wallet will fly open and make it rain on ANY decent looking Sci-Fi experience to hit theaters. Yes, this is the same kid that saw Avatar in 3D IMAX twice in less than 24 hours – AND I had to change my underwear at least 6 times from all the nerdgasms. So it wasn’t very shocking that I, along with my fellow Sci-Fi nerds, arrived at the midnight premiere of Prometheus tightly clutching plastic bags filled with spare undies.
But seeing that Christopher is so on his game that he sent his review for Prometheus to me before the film even debuted in the United States, I felt obliged to share! I thought it would be fun to have a little “movie review showdown” for Prometheus, as opposed to the traditional reviews found on The Rambling Crab. What follows is Christopher’s personal review of Prometheus, with my added commentary in red – because there was no way in hell this Sci-Fi nerd had absolutely nothing to say about his favorite movie genre. Let’s get your nerd juices flowing…
So, Prometheus. Perhaps the second most anticipated movie of the year. Ridley Scott returning to science fiction? Ridley Scott returning to the Alien universe? Michael Fassbender being all droid like?
I’m in. But what I was in for, I did not expect. There are spoilers abound in this here “review,” so look away if you don’t want the film spoiled. Or, whatever the 21st Century equivalent of “looking away” is (CTRL + M?).
Must be a Mac joke…PC for life!
Let’s get one thing straight. This is not a prequel to Alien. It may be set in the same universe, but it is a very different movie. Very different indeed.
Totally agree – this is far from the Alien prequel many critics claimed it to be…er, asides from the last 5 minutes. I’d argue that Ridley Scott did himself a major injustice by including that very last scene at the end of the movie. Merely inferring anything about Alien throughout any part of the movie placed a huge target on his back, leaving him wide open for comparison and critique. Unless of course, we should expect a three part prequel to Alien. Which in that case, carry on.
The film revolves around a scientific exploratory vessel named Prometheus, traveling to a planet known as LV-223 after doctors Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discover a number of cave paintings all around the world which they determine is an invitation from an ancient civilization. Namely, our creators.
Now it goes without saying, this being the world of “face huggers” and “chest bursters,” shit will hit the fan sooner or later. So already there is tension abound. As the first act moves along, it feels like we should expect a movie similar to Alien. However, that is not the case.
When the action finally kicks off, it does so in style. Rafe Spall and Sean Harris’ scientists Fifield and Millburn are the first to receive a rather grotesque close encounter in the cavernous like tomb with the big head from the poster (I don’t think “big head” is the technical term). I began to settle back in my seat and thought, “Here we go: Fan? Check. Shit? Check. Let the movie begin.”
I really hate to admit this, but I felt the movie was moving damn near a snail’s pace by the beginning of the first “action sequence” Christopher refers to above. The only aspects of the film that kept my mind reeling at this point were the animations and cinematography.
But then something strange happens. The movie doesn’t start. Or rather, the movie I thought I was going to see doesn’t. A very different one does. The pace slows right back down again, after the attack of Fifield and Millburn. We head back to spend some time in the good ship Prometheus and more of the mystery of the film unravels. But the pace very much slows back down again.
And that’s my main problem with the film. The pacing. It happens a couple of times, we have a sudden burst of action, then we slow right back down again. There is too long a gap between the face-hugging and chest bursting action to the next. It’s an odd balance. Just as you think the horror and action is about to kick off. It takes a step back and slows down again.
It was around the midway point of the film, between the first burst of alien-related horror and the next that I realized something. This film is nothing at all like it’s predecessor. It’s not the film I expected to see. It isn’t a film that is filled with the creeping sense of terror and unease. Nor is there that fear that there is something very big and very angry lurking around the spaceship corridor and whatever’s going to happen next won’t be good.
In essence. It wasn’t Alien.
I felt the exact same way. Throughout the length of the movie, I never found myself on edge, waiting for something to pop-out of a dark place. You’re pretty much blatantly told by the characters that there is absolutely nothing to fear. And well, for once, they’re actually being honest.
Then a thought struck me. Why is this a bad thing? If I wanted to experience the same feeling I had when I saw Alien, why not just rewatch Alien? What would be the point in seeing the same film in a different setting?
That would be shit.
Prometheus is a very different beast. It’s a film driven by ideas, one that is full of questions and compelling thoughts on the creation and meaning of life.
The questions that the movie asks aren’t really answered either, which I wouldn’t say is a bad thing. This is a strength of the film. It allows the audience to think about these questions, and make up our own theories or answers. You can come away from Prometheus with a lot of different ideas to discuss, and different theories to come up with. Surely that’s part of the fun, no? To leave the cinema and make up your own mind about what you think happened is one of my favorite aspects of the film. And if this is something you enjoy, then you may enjoy Prometheus.
The fact that the audience ends up having more questions than answers by the end of the movie actually leaves us in a similar position as the main characters. Doctors Shaw and Holloway traveled so far for answers, but all they got were more questions.
The film could definitely have benefited from a smaller cast. The large number of characters means we don’t get to spend enough time with either of the leads, which means we don’t really get to know them as well as we would like too before everything goes to shit. We have to work a little harder to find something about the characters we like in order to root for them. Or at least hope they aren’t killed horribly.
Noomi Rapace is fairly likeable as Elizabeth Shaw and newcomer Logan Marshall Green as Charlie Holloway is definitely one to watch. Charlize Theron’s Meredith Vickers is suitably enigmatic as this movie’s corporate big wig. But it is Michael Fassbender as the android David who steals the show. His character is someone both to empathize with, but also completely distrust, which makes him all the more compelling and mysterious.
Agree, agree, agree! Noomi Rapace is no Sigourney Weaver, but comes into her own as the title’s main female protagonist. Charlize Theron’s almost droid-like nature made me question whether Michael Fassbender had a little bit of competition. There is no doubt that Fassbender is singlehandedly the most compelling character in the film.
The cinematography is really quite beautiful and Scott has succeeded in once again creating a wonderfully immerse universe, albeit one that we really wouldn’t want to find ourselves in, what with the horrific deaths and such. Ridley Scott has delivered a film that is compelling, imaginative and visually wonderful. The film is by no means perfect, but it is one that I urge you to go and see. It’s quite literally an epic in terms of scale and story.
It is a brave and ambitious script by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof. A script that is jam packed with intriguing and brain-aching ideas.
A film with this much ambition should be celebrated despite its flaws. Since seeing it, I haven’t stopped thinking about it, and the ideas it puts forward. Both Scott and Lindelof have talked about sequels, at least two more before we get to the beginning of Alien, which is a tantalizing thought.
It is not Alien. It is Prometheus, and not to its detriment.
You can’t be a fan of LOST without appreciating film/television that piles an offensive amount of questions on top of each other before attempting to answer the original question it creates. So it’s no surprise to me that Damon Lindelof helped develop the script for Prometheus. That being said, I’m a little fed up with story lines that make absolutely no sense and end up being completely ignored by (a) the characters in the film and (b) the fans or audience members. I’m not going to point out exactly which part of Prometheus I’m referencing (HINT: it involves Michael Fassbender and Logan Marshall Green), but to me it was one of the most glaring unanswered questions in the entire film.
Overall, I relished Prometheus for its stunning Sci-Fi visuals, but found myself forcing my subconscious to enjoy the plot a little more than I really did. If Avatar gave me 6 nerdgasms, Prometheus gave me AT MOST 1 and a half (if it’s possible to have half a nerdgasm).
What did you think of Prometheus? Sci-Fi thriller of the year, or an over-anticipated box office flub?
Overall review of Prometheus is courtesy of Christopher Patrick – A Scottish guy who watches a lot of Film and TV. One half of Killer Tofu Films. Aspiring filmmaker. I also like cake. Follow him on Twitter: @cpatrick1604
Follow The Rambling Crab on Twitter – @ramblingcrab for all the latest news and updates. The Rambling Crab is a satire blog owned and operated by Sebastian Compagnucci. Check out TheRamblingCrab.com for new movie reviews, video clips and tv entertainment news.