Monday, June 25, 2012


I've been really putting off writing about this one. I saw it as soon as it came out. I love Alien and Ridley Scott and I admit I had astronomically high expectations. I know that is not a good thing but I couldn't help myself: I had not been this excited about a film in a long time. I avoided reviews (something I rarely do: I love spoilers.) and tried to keep an open mind. There is a lot to love about Prometheus. An awful lot to love. But is also drove me crazy. A lot of it makes no sense. Yes, I've read all the reviews now, and the message boards. People are very passionate about this film, which is awesome. I am passionate about it as well: I just don't want to think about it that much. Thinking about the film makes me frown. I can feel the wrinkles between my eyes deepening when I try to figure it all out.

Let’s start out with what I liked about Prometheus.

First thing: this Dude:

The film begins with what is now known as the "sacrificial Engineer." This very buff pale creature drinks some goo and then disintegrates. His DNA spreads throughout the ocean, presumably giving us the building blocks of life? (Frown/Wrinkle). The Engineers are a God like race, storming around the universe creating life and then destroying it when they see fit. Basically they are assholes. And, they are easily killed by slug like creatures that inhabit the planet the Engineers have taken over to build weapons of mass destruction to kill off the humans. (Frown/Wrinkle).

The second thing I love about Prometheus is Michael Fassbender's performance as David, the Lawrence of Arabia loving Android with Daddy issues. Speaking of Daddy issues, EVERYONE in this damn film has some kind of Daddy issue, not the least of all is Elizabeth Shaw, played by Noomi Rapace. Elizabeth is a scientist who discovered the cave paintings that led the crew to this distant planet. Along with her boyfriend, guy whose name I forgot, she is on a mission to discover God. She believes the Engineers are our creators, but she still has faith that someone created them. See, this is the reason I don't try to think about such things. It leads you off on dangerous odysseys that make no sense.

I also love Charlize Theron as the icy corporate stooge Vickers. You actually feel kind of bad for her when another character asks her if she is a robot. I will agree with some of the criticism that hers is a throwaway character. I didn't need another person with Daddy issues to drive the point home, but there you go. She is great, and she has *SPOILER ALERT* one of the great death scenes of all time. Ouch.

My favorite thing about Prometheus is Noomi Rapace.  Her Elizabeth is one tough bitch without being "Ripley" over the top.  Her "self surgery" is one of the best scenes I have seen all year.  Her choice at the end, to confront her makers and find out why they have foresaken her, makes sense for the character.

And now we get to what makes me so frustrated with this film. I get the sense they were making it up as they went along. You know what else gave me that sense? Lost. I gave up on Lost when it became clear that there was no end plan. Damon Lindelof wrote both Lost and Prometheus. I admit: I was distracted throughout most of the film looking for Alien references: that is my bad. But I was not so distracted to miss the fact that nothing here makes sense. I left the theatre with a big WTF and I blame Lindelof for that. Vague can be good, I am fine with vague, but vague and frustrating for the sake of being vague and frustrating just plain sucks.
I love that Prometheus aims high: it's not just horror sci-fi: it is mind-bending thoughtful horror sci-fi. I just wish I could shake the feeling that it is a bunch of cool scenes thrown together because the filmmakers thought it would blow people's minds away. My mind is blown: and exhausted and just a little pissed off.

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