Prometheus

Greed of the Weyland Corporation

         
 

08 June 2012| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Like a cerebral Russian science-fiction film for about 90 minutes until it goes overboard on the “explosive” action stuff. Prometheus has astonishing imagery, high-tech hardware, and alien stuff that precedes the “Alien” franchise that began in 1979. Much of Ridley Scott’s futuristic film is sleek and beautiful, thoughtful and mysterious, character-driven and a potent commentary on corporate globalization. Put on your thinking cap.

We’re not sure if we are on Earth or a foreign planet during the opening shots, and for a moment, it hardly matters because the visual sweep is so breathtaking. Then an inexplicable alien suicide occurs. Yet it has you wondering about the subtext – it makes a huge difference for interpretation to whether it is Earth or not where this takes place (the subsequent titles give you the answer).

What I’m trying to imply is that there is genius at play here that Scott’s film ascends to. The concluding scenes boggle your enjoyment because they are too convoluted. You don’t hate the film, it hasn’t gypped you exactly, but its’ accomplishments diminish considerably. You see, H.R. Gigor’s “perfect monster” and how it came about through mixed DNA is explained. And then, unnecessary screenplay material kind of debunks it anyhow by adding a multitude of variant birthing scenes. Why did the filmmakers go through the trouble, you wonder, of putting the story together then in the first place only to not give us a concrete answer?

Walking out of the film, I guess you’re supposed to strike up theoretical discussion with your fellow fanboys. It’s a conversation that could last for hours because that ending content is so contradictory.

Through layers of latex make-up, Guy Pearce plays the head of the Weyland Corporation. The company motto is: “Building Better Worlds.” The corporation is sending a crew out for the first time to survey a particular planet which is believed to harbor extra-terrestrial life. Seventeen crew members fly this mission, the main members portrayed by Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba and Logan Marshall-Green. To tell you which actor is most important to the piece would be a ruinous disclosure. I will say that collectively this group makes for an interesting query on sociological specimens as well as their behavioral interaction with artificial intelligence.

Scott’s pacing gives you plenty of time to muse over the the icy detachment of its characters, the strange surroundings of a foreign planet, the function of alien apparatuses. Several great sequences are found in “Prometheus” that are justified and neatly integrated into the story – a doozy including a character being conscious during abdomen surgery while wide awake; a snake-like parasite invading an astronaut’s suit that is as memorable as the chest-burster in Scott’s 1979 film.

All the while, sci-fi fans are deconstructing “Prometheus” as a genesis story. If only it came full circle. Yes, there is too much gratuitous action that tops the end. But don’t let that stop you. This is a sumptuous high-tech experience and a persuasive futuristic vision. We need yet another sequel.

Note: This is my original 3-star review regrettably. I’ve seen it again and find its mysteries stirring and intriguing. 3.5 stars seems more like it.

124 Minutes. Rated R.

SCI-FI & FANTASY / MYTHOLOGY / WEEKEND THRILLS

Film Cousins: “Stalker” (1979, Russia); “Alien” (1979); “Aliens” (1986); “Alien: Resurrection” (1997).

Official movie website: click here.

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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