Sunday, August 19, 2012

Prometheus




Prometheus

Directed by Ridley Scott



With strong performances, interesting visuals, and an excellent set-up, Prometheus shuts down a little over halfway through, resulting in a convoluted, contrived mess of what could have been a potential sci/fi masterpiece.

As could be expected of a movie with this high of a budget, the visual effects are quite good. Several moments have you questioning whether what you're seeing is CGI or not, which is probably the best compliment special effects can receive. The visual style of this film is one of its greatest successes, filled with imagery very reminiscent of some of Ridley Scott's previous work. Sadly, not much is done with these visuals to enhance the story, instead mostly serving as something to look at as the rest of the movie is happening.

Aside from the visuals, this movie has one main appeal: the acting. Many of the characters may be simple caricatures, but of the central cast, there isn't a performance which stands out as being below average. Michael Fassbender, as usual, manages to dominate the movie as the android "David", who makes for the most interesting character in the movie. At this point in the year, he may very well be the best performance/character I've seen yet. Other cast members, including Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba, and Charlize Theron all deliver perfectly adequate performances, but this is Fassbender's show.

And now to the negative. There was too much going on in this movie. Plot-points would be introduced, only to be left unresolved and forgotten completely, the pacing is uneven to say the least, and loaded with continuity errors, all of which resulting in a mess of a film. This movie was far too ambitious for its own good. There were a lot of interesting ideas put into this movie, none of which coming to fruition. Any explanation you could come to in attempt to overcome these plot inadequacies would be unsuccessful, as there are quite simply far too many events in this movie (particularly found in the third act) that make little-to-no sense when you force yourself to think about them. All of this would be fine, were it not for the fact that this is a movie with great aspirations, attempting to be identified as "thinking man's" sci/fi, which it most definitely is not.

I will never think of Ridley Scott as a great director, and this movie only reaffirms that. Much like a large portion of his filmography, this movie is merely above average. It tries to be its own entity, but in a desperate attempt to link itself with the Alien franchise, creates a wholly unnecessary, convoluted way to tie it into the same movie-verse. Riddled with cliches, which include over-zealous and miraculously incompetent scientists, one-dimensional background characters whose only purpose is to add to the total body count, and easily-solvable issues dealt with in the most idiotic manners possible, resulting in mass hysteria, unnecessary conflict, and eventual annihilation, this movie fails at creating its own identity. It's effectively the same thing as Alien, just on a larger scale.

A boisterous attempt at raising questions regarding its own theology, which never even comes close to providing any answers of its own. A grand build-up to very little pay-off.
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