Prometheus (2012)

prometheus-poster
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Some impressive visuals, interesting themes

Some horror seems out of place and random, abrupt ending

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Prometheus

Studio:  Scott Free Productions

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror

Release Date(s):  May 30, 2012 (Europe)/June 8, 2012 (USA)

MPAA Rating:  R

prometheus-crew

Hey guys, anyone remember how Prometheus kind of ended up chained to a rock with his liver eaten by vultures? Just a reminder before we go seeking the answers to life.

An alien comes to a planet, takes genetic DNA, breaks apart, and forms new life.  In 2089, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover proof of alien interaction between ancient Earth civilizations and are able to track it to the stars.  In 2093, a Weyland Corporation ship named Prometheus piloted by Janek (Idris Elba) and commanded by Weyland Corporation employee Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) has brought Shaw and Holloway to their ultimate goal.  With the help of an android named David (Michael Fassbender), the team seeks to find the truth of a complex on the planet and find the secrets to life itself.

Prometheus was directed by the original Alien director Ridley Scott and serves as a bit of a prequel to that series.  With years of preparation and an intense viral campaign, the movie was met with mixed to positive reviews but a strong box office.  The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Visual Effects (losing to Life of Pi).

prometheus-ship

Hey guys, once again…this doesn’t seem smart

*****Spoilers Throughout***** Prometheus was a long time coming and that is part of the reason that it seems to have been met with such mixed reviews.  The idea of an Alien prequel has floated around forever and questions surrounding the ship discovered by the crew of the Nostromo have existed since the premiere of Alien in 1979.  The identity of the pilot (now called the Engineer) and how the ship came to rest on the planet were questions that fans really wanted.  Here they are given the answers…sort of.

I can’t say I loved or hated Prometheus, but for the most part I liked it.  The problems in Prometheus arise from trying to make it an Alien franchise film and the film will digress from a really “thinking” movie to some average science-fiction and horror.  I will say there are some really intense moments in Prometheus (the worst birth scene since Alien), but they sometimes seemed out of place in a movie that seems to be more about ideas and concepts.  The attack of the geologist Fifield (Sean Harris) who became infected, seemed random and felt like the movie producers simply wanted something to happen, much like many of the final scenes in the movie.

prometheus-fassbender

I’ve got the whole world, in my hands!

One of the hardest things in Prometheus to understand is the motivation of the David character (Fassbender).  Fassbender continues to show he is an interesting actor and his combination of a brash Lawrence of Arabia, a cold HAL 9000 attitude, and a walk he fashioned after Greg Louganis, made for a unique character.  I wasn’t sure if he had fallen in “love” with Rapace’s character during the hyperspace or if there was some other reason for him to poison Holloway with the DNA.  Working for Peter Weyland (his creator played in heavy make-up & poorly acted by Guy Pearce), it would make sense if he was simply trying to please his “father”, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.  David was sometimes helpful and sometimes destructive.  Obvious parallels between David and the Frankenstein Monster can be made, but the character isn’t that easy.

Also good were Rapace and Theron who were almost flip sides of the same coin.  Rapace is passionate and open, and Theron is cold and distant.  Elba’s character questioned if Theron was an android and it was a valid question at that point in the story.  Rapace however wears her heart on her sleeve and it is an interesting twist from her Dragon Tattoo character who was quite closed (and I look forward to seeing more of her acting).  With two strong characters, I thought the end was quite a cop-out for Theron’s character to go out like the Wicked Witch of the East.

prometheus-rapace

This isn’t a very good vacation

A lot of themes were carried from the Alien films.  The idea of motherhood which was a dominate theme in the Alien franchise was present.  Rapace gives “birth” to an alien creature and the ideas of “mother” popped-up a lot (though the role of fathers also became a theme).  There was the crew of the Prometheus that were rather stereotypical.  In addition to these ideas, there were the basic ideas of the aliens which are evolving throughout the film.

The connections to the Alien franchise also create some problems of lining up.  In Alien, the crew of the Nostromo is sent to investigate a distress call (Rapace’s call at the ending?) but it is an alien call so that doesn’t make much sense.  Another problem is that the alien was found in the pilot seat in Alien, this Engineer died in the seat of the ship, not in another ship near the wreckage…plus there were no alien eggs or aliens running around the planet.  Alien/Aliens also made the mistake of giving up the year which doesn’t correspond with this film, plus the movie’s technology (except the long-time space travel) is way too advanced.  Is this really the same Earth or same ship, or is this a Battlestar Galactica type thing where it has all happened before?

The movie does borrow heavy from the ideas presented in Frankenstein (also subtitled The Modern Prometheus when it was published).  Sometimes experiments for the sake of experimenting aren’t always met with positive results.  The idea of life & death and the whys of the universe are the best aspects of this film.  The sheer desire to explore reminds me a bit of Close Encounters of the Third Kind or Doctor Who, but the horror stuff gets in the way.  Prometheus is overall a good but troubling film.  It could have been better with some script editing, but it also might have been a bit dull.  With a rather open ending, there has already been immediate talk of a sequel.

Related Links:

Alien:  Covenant (2017)

Alien (1979)

Aliens (1986)

Alien3 (1992)

Alien:  Resurrection (1997)

Aliens vs. Predator (2004)

Aliens vs. Predator:  Requiem (2007)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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