Saturday, 2 June 2012

Prometheus - Review

Weight of expectation can be a huge burden.  If you're going to see Prometheus because you're expecting the answers to questions you formed in 1979 you're going to be crushed.  They're not there, or at least they're not here in any fully formed sort of way.  Prometheus delivers something else, a lot more questions for a start.  You can blame Damon Lindelof for that, it's the last episode of Lost all over again without the heaven bit.

Is it an Alien prequel?  Yes (despite the protests from Ridley Scott), it is.  Is at as dark and fricking bat shit crazy scary as Alien?  No.  It has it's moments, but the shocks are generally the shocks we've seen before.  It has moments of toe curling horror but the jumps are where you expect them to be.  That doesn't matter though, although this shares some of its core with Alien, Prometheus has its own agenda.  Scott, probably deliberately, doesn't get drawn into the most obvious debate here.  His lead character is a creationist who thinks she's found our makers.  After centuries of Darwinism you'd have thought she'd have met more resistance to her theories but no, off she's sent with a crew of scientists and a robot (the scene munching Fassbender) to find our creators.  And once they get to the moon she thinks we've been invited to, things rapidly go horribly wrong.  

You'll come out of the cinema speculating like mad on the gaps that need filling in the plot but also fascinated by where this might go next.  There's an intriguing new mythology for Scott to explore here should he choose to, although it feels like he's been reading a lot of Alistair Reynolds before embarking on Prometheus.  That's no bad thing though, Reynolds is the master of hard Sci-Fi.

The cast is great in places, underused and underdeveloped in others.  Poor Logan Marshall-Green must be gutted at how poorly Charlie Holloway comes across, while Michael Fassbender must have moon walked to Monaco last weekend at how brilliantly he's allowed to bring David to 'life'.  It all hangs on Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw and although she's no Ripley, there's just enough steel behind the wide eyed, faith inspired scientist to keep you on board.  By the end you're rooting for her.

At the IMAX the 3D worked just great, apparently that gets lost at a normal screening.  The opening sequence is like those early IMAX films shot at the Grand Canyon.  In other words, if you don't like heights and suffer from a bit of vertigo, you're fucked.

Visually throughout it's as great as the trailers have suggested.  Sadly the trailers have also almost managed to kill the ending.  Odd.

Prometheus is going to delight and frustrate in equal measure but it's a great Sci-Fi  movie that sadly might get buried by all the expectation.  Answers?  No.  Questions?  Sure.  But what brilliant questions.

Go.  Just put thirty odd years of mythology in a box before hand.
★★★★☆