Michael Douglas and Matt Damon wow the Cannes film fest as Liberace and lover.
Prometheus: movie review
Twentieth Century Fox
Release date: 1 June 2012
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron
Director: Ridley Scott
What's The Story? 2091. Scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall Green) have discovered that ancient civilisations are pointing us towards the same star system. When they get there, though, their hopes of discovering our origins come to a grizzly end.
What did we think? Prometheus looks sumptuous and is filled with great sci-fi scenes. But it's plagued by character arcs that don't feel credible and, critically, it never really scares us.
Remember Alien? Remember that feeling of cold terror in the pit of your stomach? When Ridley Scott said, "Of course, all I really want to do is scare the living **** out of you," in the build-up to Prometheus, we hoped we'd feel it again.
But it never quite happens. There's a scene with a 'snake' creature that slaughters two of the doomed science vessel's crew that's pretty scary. After that, the exploits of the biological terror that threatens the Prometheus expedition never really strike any fear into us. In fact they're often kind of funny: a bio-horror freak show.
Perhaps that sense of amusement stems from the fact that, outside of Noomi Rapace, we never really care about the victims of the disaster. Characters die in all sorts of inventive ways but we're never horrified. Those who sacrifice themselves for the greater good do so without having established the traits or backstory required to do so credibly.
You'll crave the simplicity of Alien: beasts vs. beings. Instead we have multiple species, mankind's origin story, a question of faith, a corporate fall from grace and even a love storyline to deal with. It's this cramming that denies the characters room to breathe. Michael Fassbender comes out on top. Tellingly, he's not playing a human.
But don't worry. The flaws in Prometheus are easily ignored when there's this much cool stuff going on. Two cross-species birth scenes are gross-out masterpieces. You also get to see a Michael Fassbender gym bag you'll all want. Furthermore, the sci-fi environment of the cavernous alien 'ship' discovered by the crew of Prometheus is the setting for several beautifully rendered sci-action scenarios. Just don't expect to feel involved.
Verdict: Flawed and over-filled. It could have been a masterpiece.
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