Prometheus – Film Review

With Ridley Scott back in the Captain’s seat and Sigourney Weaver looking a lot like Noomi Rapace, fans can finally sink their rabid teeth into what may be the truest prequel/sequel/sidequel in the Alien franchise to date. Of course though, as my Uncle Ben once told me*: with great expectation comes great disappointment.

For those of you that never caught any of the eight hundred spoilerific trailers and posters, Prometheus sends a misfit group of scientists to a distant solar system on the dime of a God-complexed Guy Pearce to discover the origins of both the Alien franchise and the human race. Of course, this being a film in the Alien canon, events take an awry turn and things get pretty tense and icky for the naive explorers.

The disappointing thing about Prometheus was its marketing (as alluring as it was). Prometheus is by no means a perfect film to begin with but the trailers and posters gave away almost every major plot point and impressive reveal there was to be seen. Your experience of the film is then tarnished by nagging thoughts such as: “I’ve already seen all of this, why do I have to pay to watch the trailer last over two hours?!” and “Grrrrr.” If I’ve not explained that very well, imagine how you might have felt if Star Wars Episode V’s trailer revealed the pivotal Vader/Luke “No, I am your father” moment**. That is essentially what happened with Prometheus and its alluded to Alien mythos.

As dissatisfied as the words above come off as, once you get over the fact that the entire film had been spoiled by the film studio itself, Prometheus is an enjoyable – if at times oddly paced and occasionally confusing – film.

It doesn’t really answer or deliver on what it sets out to do in plot or idea as a prequel, but – as co-writer Damon Lindelof would often say to calm Lost fanatics – the journey itself is the exciting part. For every vague and unanswered question there are numerous phallic, gooey creatures that creep you out. For every unforgivable bit of prosthetic on Guy Pearce’s head there are countless enchanting landscapes and stunning set-pieces to gape at. For every moment you miss Ellen Ripley and Xenomorphs, Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw is there to kick the arse of both of their memories with an extremely cool performance (even if she and the rest of the characters are, on the whole, a little two dimensional). And finally, I would be remiss to not mention just how subtly amazing Michael Fassbender’s token android David is.

I am itching to detail more of the film’s particularly great moments (of which there are some corkers), but to even allude to them may spoil the little left that is unknown.

The amount of flack that Prometheus is taking is understandable. It is hardly the most stunning or exciting film of 2012 but as far as Ridley Scott films go – and I write this as someone who doesn’t place much stock in Blade Runner – this is one of his best, and it easily equals Alien in style, character and idea development. It isn’t the easiest film to love but please, just hold back on angrily throwing face huggers at Scott et al until you’ve had a good and lengthy cryostasis sleep to think about the film properly. You might find that actually, you kind of liked it too.

*This might not have been what he really said … or even been my Uncle.

**If I’ve just ruined that then I really have no words for you except for how old are you?!

Out Now – 1st June 2012

This non-prequel to Alien is set in the same universe as Alien, shares some of the same settings, and marks original director Ridley Scott’s return to Sci-Fi. A team of explorers travel into the depths of the universe to try to discover mankind’s origins. Sharing a writer with TV’s Lost don’t be too surprised if Prometheus reveals that the entire earth is one big experiment conducted by a smoke monster and a man wearing eye-liner who never seems to age.

Top Cat: The Movie
It’s about time that classic animated series Top Cat was made into a feature film by a Mexican studio with cheaper looking animation than the original 1960s show. Don’t worry guys, this atrocity is getting a full wide release so you should be able to spend the bank holiday weekend crying over your ruined childhood wherever you live.

The Angels’ Share
It’s the “Scottish Full Monty”, a risk any film takes when featuring a group of men hanging around windy hills in kilts. This comedy follows a group serving community service who look to malt whiskey to find their fortune. I saw the trailer and couldn’t quite figure out what their plan was and whether it was legal or not. Stupid trailer, I’m going to have to actually see the film now.

LOL (limited release)
Miley Cyrus stars in a comedy drama about teen relationships, social networking, your mum reading your diary, and the eternal truth that even if your boyfriend dumps you it’s okay because your male best friend has probably been in love with you all along anyway.

Rowdy Rathore (limited release)
I can confidently say that Rowdy Rathore is a Hindi action thriller about small time con man Shiva and is a remake of the Telugu film Vikramarkudu which has been remade a total of four times since its original release in 2006. Each of the five versions was made in a different Indian language. Subtitles not an option?

Himizu (limited release)
In post-tsunami Japan a teenager turns vigilante and seeks out bad guys to inflict violence against them. It is then up to the girl who loves him to lead him back to the right path. Ah teenage boys, their love of violence only matched by their love of teenage girls.

The Turin Horse (limited release)
What better way to help your child come to terms with the death of their hamster than with this Hungarian drama in which a “rural farmer is forced to confront the mortality of his faithful horse”. May contain scenes of a dying horse.

Death Watch (limited release)
Originally released in 1980 when the plot featuring a documentary being made about a terminally ill woman seemed outlandish and bizarre. On an unrelated note Sky Living will be airing their fifth Jade Goody tribute documentary next week.

On the Sly (limited release)
A girl who feels invisible to her parents decides to run away and has an adventure in the forest. This Belgian film is only 77 minutes long so perfect for anyone looking to get culture in a hurry this weekend. It’s the cinematic equivalent to having a jog through the Tate.

The Best is Yet to Come: 2012

As much as we are obliged to look back over the year just gone, we are obliged to look ahead at the year just beginning. It’s always exciting to look at the next twelve months and all the exciting treats that are coming to our screens. Below are my personal picks of the films worth seeing in 2012, and I’m hoping there will be many more besides, a few gems I haven’t even heard of yet. Continue reading