Prometheus, the official line is “…a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe.” We all know this is the highly anticipated prequel to the legendary Alien franchise. Nuff said.
I sooooo wanted to love, Love, LOVE! this movie, but it was not meant to be. Let’s start with what I like about Prometheus. I can call this film visually EPIC in the very definition of the word. You get the feeling you are watching an EVENT. Something important and worth every second of your time. It is absolutely gorgeous and expansive. Too bad the crew doesn’t convey that wonder.
And for the bad… As grand as the film work is, the story and characters are lacking. Important points and events are introduced and never explained. The key word of the last sentence is “important.” Not a little detail like what does one eat after a long hyper sleep, but more like, “Hey, I wonder what killed off all these superior life forms that we traversed the galaxy to find, and finding out may be very relevant to surviving this mission.”
We get the now familiar artificial life form (Michael Fassbender) and meeting of the hodge podge support crew in the cargo bay, getting briefed about the mission. But we never really get to know the “red shirt” crew. The only memorable portrayal is Fifield (Sean Harris). Apparently throughout time, no one actually knows what the hell they are signing up for that involves deep space travel and years of your life. They just go, “Yeah, I’m in,” and jump in a clear tube to sleep for the journey.
A symptom of space travel seems to be a loss of common sense, on a human level and as a scientist. Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), one of the lead archeologists, becomes infected, and what does he say? NOTHING! He is totally aware that something is not right, and continues on. The only benefit I can see of this is to give Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), an opportunity to show some intelligence and not let him back on the ship when he is transforming. Another symptom must be not giving a shit. If you get to the point when discovering new, sentient life forms on another planet and ground breaking information about human history becomes blasé, I guess you can say you have done it all.
If I had to choose a single phrase for Prometheus, it would be gorgeous but underwhelming. I expected more of a cohesive story. It wasn’t as bad as watching Lost, but in the ballpark. If you just sit back and take in the wonder, and don’t pay attention to the details, this can be an enjoyable film. Given the mythology that has been created, I feel the details are crucial. The imminent sequel holds promise, but then so did this.