Thursday, 11 May 2017

Prometheus (2012) - Film Review

*Originally written May 11th, 2017*

On the road to Alien: Covenant, I decided to revisit every film in the Alien series (Excluding AVP, although I did shamefully rewatch those recently by mistake). With Covenant landing tomorrow, I finally got to Prometheus, the first prequel in the franchise.

This might be the fifth viewing of Prometheus for me since its release in 2012, and it is still the confused and frustrating experience I remember it being. I did at least appreciate a few things a bit more this time around, although my opinion still leans towards a negative overall feeling towards the film.

I know Prometheus was never intended as a direct prequel to Alien when it was made and released, but seeing as it is now part of a series leading up to the original Alien, it feels a bit messy. I do like that we're leading up to the eventually creation/discovery of the Xenomorph race, I even didn't mind the that little stinger at the end of that baby proto-xeno thing, but everything with the giant albino aliens was laughable at best.

Some giant albino alien *Shrugs*

It's a common criticism of Prometheus, but still a criticism. This film asks way more questions that it answers, which isn't a big concern, in fact it could be a positive if I was invested in these characters or journey, but I'm not. My biggest problem is the characters. I never once cared for any of these crew members, who range from annoying to stupid. Aside from Michael Fassbender bringing more class than the rest of the cast put together, everyone is wasted and forgettable.

I can suspend my disbelief so far, but it is borderline insulting to the audience when the script treats them to the dumbest scientists possibly to ever be put on screen. They do things no real human being would do, it's more script based than the actors fault, but these characters are frustrating to say the least. On top of these dumb characters, the script is full of cringe-worthy and terrible lines.

It is quite amazing that Michael Fassbender is playing an emotionless android, but manages to bring more life to his character than anyone else in Prometheus. Some of my favourite scenes were from the short time we see with him on the ship during the opening where he's just passing the time by watching Lawrence of Arabia and imitating what he saw in the mirror.

Michael Fassbender and Android 'David'

The biggest shame really is that this was director Ridley Scott's first time back into the Alien universe since his 1979 masterpiece that started it all. None of the personal terror or shock is there. It all feels bloated and up its own arse with its self-important philosophy on gods and where humans came from. I'm not asking for a mindless slasher fest, but something a bit more than this.

While Prometheus feels insanely tame for a film in the Alien series, there is one geniune moments of body-horror involving a self-induced abortion that was harrowing to watch, it was probably one of the most nerve-wracking scenes in the entire franchise.

Visually at least, Prometheus really is a feast for the eyes. Every scene is detailed, beautiful and filled with information. A lot of sets are practical and feel lived in, which I have to praise. even the CGI doesn't feel distracting, as it looks really, really good. I particuarly loved the the hologram maps.

Prometheus is a frustrating and unrewarding experience, it also doesn't have much to offer for Alien fans thanks to its terrible script, bland characters and general messiness, but for whatever reason, I seem to come back to it frequently.

5/10 Dans

Prometheus is out now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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