Genre: Science Fiction
Watched: October 25, 2012
Summary: Trying to go long! (7/10)
In many ways, Prometheus, harkens back to 60s and 70s Science Fiction (novels). Not only is it Ridley Scott’s vague take on a prequel to his own 1979 Alien, but it ambitiously tackles gigantic open ended questions in the manner of Rama, Gateway, and the like. But does it succeed?
This film is certainly broader and vaster than Alien — which is a contained “monster in a box” sort of story, albeit a brilliant one — and the actors are pretty good, but Prometheus feels a little rushed. Most of the characters seem to be acting on mysterious hidden agendas that don’t make total sense. And they proceed with a crazy sort of recklessness — given the obvious high level of risk even before it devolves into a total cluster f**k. I mean, come on, who sends a team that doesn’t know each other to the other side of the galaxy? Who thinks it’s a good idea to take off your helmet in a giant alien pyramid or stick your fingers in xeno-goo?
Also, despite the pretense of “hard sci-fi”, there are a lot of liberties taken with physics, biology, and the like. Can gigantic alien donut ships really roll and flop across the ground? I don’t think so, big objects don’t have the tensile strength to topple like that, look what happened to the twin towers. Can you outrun one on foot? Or why does an expedition that auto maps every millimeter of their surroundings with glowing holographs need to ask crew members what “coordinates” they’re standing at?
Still, I enjoyed the film. Ridley at least tried to make a great film, even if he only ended up with a good one. This is no mindless action romp with unmemorable talking cardboard cutouts. It’s a real solid effort, starkly gorgeous to boot, and definitely better than Robin Hood!