Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Prometheus [2012] (sci-fi, horror, thriller)

Studio: Scott Free Productions, Brandywine Productions,
Director: Ridley Scott,
Screenplay: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof,
Genre: Sci-fi, Horror, Thriller, Wasted Potential, Metroid Rip-Off
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron

Uhh, where do I begin. Prometheus is one of the most hyped movies out there now (sans The Avengers), and for all good reasons: 33 years after the survival horror classic Alien, the same production crew - Ridley Scott, David Giler and Walter Hill - decide to release a prequel to the beloved xenophobic franchise. They even got H.R. Giger to develop the creature and set designs again! And finally, in 2012 the cinematic magnum opus was released. Me and Michelle went to the theater, we saw it, we analyzed it, so here I will provide our impressions.

First of all, the most important part: this movie is meh. Mediocre. Could be better. Lots of potential, but no substance. Didn't tell me anything I cared to know. So, to properly evaluate it, I'm gonna do mainly two things here - spoil everything and reference the Metroid series a lot. Sorry.

Let's start with the good things though, shall we?

We really dug the opening scene with the ship interior and only one active character in frame - David the replicant. Wearing a helmet that looks suspiciously like the one in the Marathon trilogy, he's wading between the empty and lonely crew quarters, movie theater, recreation deck all shrouded in darkness, with the camera flying across the rooms - it's great, not to mention it's a nice throwback to the first Alien, where we were introduced to the ship interior before we saw the main characters. And the ship Prometheus itself is pretty cool-looking, as well as the Space Jockey vessels. Each 3D model has weight, physical model, it's all volumetric and doesn't look like a videogame. The CG is really good and solid-looking.

Somewhere in the heavens...
He is waiting...

Another highlight is the surgery scene, where the main character climbs onto a System Shock-style operating table and gives herself an automated abortion, complete with the close-ups of cuts and guts. That was really intense and badass! I dig it.

And the last thing we kinda liked is the ending (one of many - see below), but not thanks to the screenplay writers or Mr. Scott himself. See, this movie's 'Get away from her, you bitch!'-type scene was accurately ripped off a little videogame called Super Metroid. Add in the holographic screens looking a lot like Dead Space, and we can conclude that Ridley Scott does have a good taste in videogames, but could he even bother to make a decent movie? Let's take a look at the flaws.

First and foremost, the immediately noticeable: little to no 3D. Seriously, with glasses the movie seemed like 2D, and without them - like blurry 2D. What the..? The 3D effect is not even there - never during the movie we felt like being emerged into it, instead the glasses gave only dark shade on the screen, nothing else. So, the 3D is present in this movie mostly within the ticket price.

Now let's get back to the start - the opening scene. What's the deal with that Jockey drinking the xenomorph larvae and collapsing? OK, besides the necessity to show the title screen inside his blood particles. This is never explained or referenced anywhere later in the movie. He just stands on the cliff, drinks that shit, cries in agony, falls apart, and bam! - the logo appears. What was that?

After this glimpse of pointlessness we are introduced to our main character - Dr. Shaw, played by Noomi Rapace. And I give her credit by saying 'played'. Her acting is beyond hilarious, even Winona Rider in Alien: Resurrection wasn't as funny. All these constant scared looks on her face, bug eyes that say 'you see, I'm the world's greatest actress! Tomorrow I'll partake in a photo shoot for Victoria's Secret!', and the unforgettable 'I WANTED A HORSE, NOT A PONY!!!1'-style dialogue (sorry Nostalgia Critic, it is your joke)... and that's what we get for our leading lady? Was Milla Jovovich busy making another lingerie ad, 'cause it's clearly her profile - at least she has some experience in kicking the extraterrestrial and undead asses!

Charlize Theron... We saw a lot of evil chicks who want to spoil everything for no reason before, and I'm sure we'll see much more in the future. But this one has an attitude. She looks like Samus Aran.

The last of Charlize Theron's dignity is in captivity. The Galaxy is not at peace.

Only unlike Ms. Aran, this chick wanders around with a stupid expression on her face, says stupid lines and dies a stupid death during what is supposed to be a thrilling action scene, but looks like an Angry Beavers gag - 'they ran... and they ran... and they ran a little more...'

Then we have the male characters. Dr. Shaw's love interest is boring and pointless, Mr Weyland is another old man who wants to live forever (Blade Runner what? Who directed this?), and the silly Mohawk geologist is silly. Not only he looks like Barry Burton from Resident Evil (minus the coolness and character development), he's also craptacularly hilarious when shouting 'I AM A GEOLOGIST!!! I LOVE ROCKS!!!' Guys, give him a gun - yeah, one of the impressive arsenal of 1 flamethrower and 3 pistols stored on your gigantic space vessel - we all clearly see how he's longing for one! But no, he's disarmed like the rest of the crew, and again dies a stupid and pointless death, because surely the scientific personnel on a mission light-aeons away from the Earth don't need any of these stupid space marines to back them up and cover, because in the Alien franchise, the disgustingly easy to reach alien ruins are deserted and contain no hostile lifeforms at all!


Why are we looking at those people at all?! They're all horrible miscast stupid incompetent characters who serve just as alien menu, nothing else!

A menu for the onslaught of useless custom aliens, to be exact. Yeah, Mr Scott though that it would be an awesome idea to stray away from the Alien canon and show the creatures that look barely like the Facehuggers, Chestbursters, Runners, Guardians and all the familiar fellas. Instead, we get a snake-like facehugger, rubber-looking Space Jockeys (oh by the way, why don't they look exactly like humans if we share the same DNA?), an Unidentified Fucking Shit (English for 'Неведомая Ё...ая Х...ня') with tentacles that looks like the final boss from Dead Space (sigh), and the xenomorph is shown only during the last 15 seconds, and he doesn't even look like the xenomorphs that we grew up with! What, the prequel's subject matter was added as an afterthought?! Then what is this movie is all about? We've seen a lot more decent pictures dedicated to the slaughter of stupid underdeveloped characters (say, Friday The 13th).

Oh well, back to the xenomorphs. The Chozo have created the Metroids (which means 'Ultimate Warrior' in Chozo'ish) as the means of defense, but later the creatures turned on them and wiped out most of their race... oh, that's another franchise... but you get the idea.

So... how does this plot hole feast end after all? First, there occurs the Angry Beavers action scene mentioned above, then the Super Metroid suspense scene mentioned above, then a dozen of other pointless endings - why did she fly away and where? Will this ever be explained? Because the Jockeys' home planet was not featured in either of the Alien movies! If this is a sequel setup, didn't Ridley Scott himself confirm there will be no sequel? Who knows... and who cares, the movie is finally over!

Guys, don't get me wrong - it's definitely not the worst movie imaginable, there are much more that deserve their bad reputation. But unfortunately, Prometheus doesn't even fit to the 'so bad it's good' category. It had great potential and possibilities for some stunning revelations for all us Alien fans, but what we got in the end is a grand videogame ripoff that dares to be original and groundbreaking. The visuals are nice and convincing, but the characters are crap, the action is cliche, and as I've said in the opening, we haven't seen anything we actually cared to see.

My Rating: 4 / 10

Michelle's Rating: 6 / 10

P.S. Special thanks to Michelle Mayfair for providing 50% of the criticism expressed above. You're my angel, come and save me tonight! :*

P.P.S. Here's Sigourney Weaver with a cat: