The annoying thing I find about real life is that it insists on getting in the way and distracting me from doing fun stuff. That real life. What an ass.
So I went to the movies about a week ago to see a film that I’d been anticipating for a while, a “prequel in spirit” to one of the most celebrated and masterful of sci-fi horror movie series of all time.
So, Prometheus then. This may not be an amazing review as I saw the film last week and my recall isn’t exactly dead on (one too many gin and tonics will do that to you), but I can certainly share my opinions on the film.
Plot synopsis in a few brief words; in the near future, a pair of archaeologists, Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway, discover star maps at the sites of various ancient cultures. After seeing that all the star maps are identical despite the vast differences of the cultures that made them, the pair do SCIENCE and find out that the star maps point to a planet in a mysterious solar system. After being funded by the multibillion Weyland Corporation, Elizabeth, Charlie, and a group of stereotypical sci-fi characters (creepy hyperintelligent android, bossy corporate ice queen, stoic down-to-earth captain, angry and unlikeable monster-fodder) all set off aboard the Prometheus, a super-smexy spaceship. Upon arriving on the planet, the team discovers a huge alien structure. Naturally they go in to investigate, and things kinda start going a bit pear-shaped from there on.
So what did I like about the film? Well, first of all, it’s pretty. Really pretty. Well, perhaps pretty is the wrong word. The whole thing is very visually striking. There’s a lot of very powerful images; the huge mysterious stone head, the pristine ranks of vases in the caves, the strange alien control room, and the huge, hostile landscapes.
The atmosphere in the film was good and creepy. I was genuinely tense all the way through (though I am a massive wimp when it comes to film), and although there were a few moments that got a cheap jump-scare out of me, the majority of the film did a great job in setting up a menacing, threatening mood that made you worry about what was really going to happen. However, there was one scene of total, unsubtle horror, and it’s the surgery scene, and if you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. To spoil the plot a little, Elizabeth discovers she’s pregnant despite the fact that she’s infertile. When warned that it’s not a normal fetus (words I imagine that no woman ever wants to hear), she freaks out, and while the thing inside her starts to thrash around, she straps herself into a robotic operating machine and we are treated to one of the most unsettling scenes outside of a Saw or Final Destination film. I won’t spoil it if you haven’t seen it, but let’s just say I did not sleep that night.
I thought all the performances were good. I liked Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth (even if she does look a bit like a real life anime character), and Michael Fassbender is just fantastic as David, the creepy android.
There were a few issues I had with the film though, just some plot points that didn’t seem to get resolved thoroughly enough for my liking. When David examines one of the vases they discover in the caves, he finds that it secretes a weird black liquid. He runs a few tests on it, and then, for no adequately explained reason, secretly puts some of the liquid in a character’s drink so that it infects them with a weird alien disease and eventually kills them. Another moment was when another character (who we see die) randomly comes back to life and attacks the crew, killing at least five guys before being incinerated. The amount of fucks that the remaining crew seem to give after this happens could be counted on the fingers of a man with no hands. If it was me, I’d be like “holy shit, our dead friend reanimated, killed a bunch of guys, and seemed to be immune to harm! Why are we not looking into why and how this has happened!?” and I would not shut up about it.
Overall, I thought Prometheus was very good, though not perhaps living up to all the hype it generated. I could understand how some diehard fans of the Alien series might be disappointed or unimpressed, but to me the film was a nice dose of creepy sci-fi without being too stupid or in-your-face. I’d definitely recommend that you catch it at cinemas while you can.