As soon as noontime rolled around I made some feeble excuses to the babysitter, and hustled to my local theater by myself to catch the matinee showing of Prometheus. If you’re like me, having grown up with the Alien franchise, it is indeed a must see, but be prepared. Prometheus is a spectacular mess.
It’s impossible not to compare this $120 million production with the original $11 million Alien and indeed echoes of the original Alien movie present themselves in all to brief moments through this overly long movie. Maybe contemporary viewers are more jaded and sophisticated, but the tremendous attempts to make Prometheus an action packed existential epic makes me yearn for the simplicity of the original story. While trying to jam multiple action and suspenseful scenes on the screen, the movie also attempts to raise existential questions that were so elegantly handled in another venerable sci-fi flick Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the end the reveals fall flat, and even the visuals make me long for the originality of H.H. Giger.
Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace do an admirable job throughout the movie, especially Rapace is our heroic scientist who somehow endures increasingly unbelievable situations. Sadly (and perhaps this is nostalgia talking here) she lacks the tenacity and grit of the young Sigourney Weaver. Fassbender is terrific as a sort of hybrid Kane meets HAL. Charlize Theron is pretty good but we know she could be better with a meatier role. And later on the amazing Guy Pearce (The King’s Speech, Memento) makes an all too brief appearance, unfortunately.
The weakness of this movie is Spaiht and Lindelof’s script which tries to do too many things and satisfy too many requirements. See it while it’s still in the theaters to fully savor the special effects, and then if you like, rent the DVD when it becomes available so you can attempt to make heads or tails of the convoluted story line. Ridley Scott, now 74, has been responsible for some industry game changers like Alien and Blade Runner, but alas, this is not one of them.