When I came out of this film I met my girlfriend to go and have dinner. She didn’t want to see the movie as she thought it might be a little scary.
“How was the movie?” she asked. A perfectly valid question. However, one I was completely stumped to answer.
“Not sure I’m cut out for movie reviewing,” I said, “I’ve no idea what to say about this film”.
“That’s a review all by itself,” she pointed out.
I hate to say it (she’ll love that I’m going to say this), but she was right. It is a review all by itself.
You see I simply have no idea what I felt about Prometheus. Even now, over 24 hours later as I sit in front of the TV that’s showing Aliens, I still don’t know what I thought about the movie.
Did it ‘wow’ me? No. Was I bored? No. Was I blown away? No. Was I disappointed? Kind of, yeah. I hung around for a while after the movie had finished, there’s a large area outside the BFI IMAX where people tend to ‘sort themselves out’ after the movies, putting their jackets on, lighting up etc. They also discuss the movie and it was interesting that nearly everyone said the same thing.
“It was a giant squid? I mean…a giant squid? What the fuck?” or “I just expected more from Ridley Scott”.
Maybe that’s the problem. When we sit down to a movie by certain directors, people such as Ridley Scott, we expect more from them. The person who brought us Blade Runner (one of my all time favourite movies), Alien and others that other people like was bringing us a prequel to his 1979 smash hit.
Alien broke ground, a female in the lead role, not just that but she kicked ass. This hadn’t been done before, at least not to such good effect. Also, the movie stands the test of time, it hasn’t dated as bad as some films that were made in the last ten years.
So when you sit down expecting an epic and get, I don’t know, a really good film, you’re disappointed. Probably more disappointed then you would be if you’d just gone in with no expectations. Perhaps, in this case, Scott is a victim of his own success.
Prometheus as a standalone film is fine, it’s not brilliant, it’s no Alien or Blade Runner, but it’s not a bad film either.
But the point is it has to stand up to those movies, particularly Alien, as it’s the prequel. Just the same as the Terminator movies had to stand-up to the original. And when you look at the movie in that context, it just doesn’t.
There’s nothing new here: there’s an airy fairy question about ‘where man comes from’ that doesn’t really get answered (you can take an answer from it, or a point of view at least), there’s one of the most obvious ‘secrets’ that gets revealed:
No shit, she’s his daughter and he’s still alive and on the ship…seriously, couldn’t have made it more obvious.
and there’s some very obvious alien food people, a bit like the Star Trek ‘extra guy gets beamed down to the planet’ type scenario.
There’s some pretty good performances though, Michael Fassbender as David the android is very good, Charlize Theron is good and Idris Elba puts in a nice bit-part performance although:
I’m still having a hard time believing that him and his crew would choose to kill themselves at the end to ‘save humanity’.
Do we learn were the Aliens come from, yeah and that’s a reasonably good ‘twist’, if you can call it that, and, obviously, there’s room for another film to follow. But the movie doesn’t have the answers to the questions it threatens to ask and answer. Instead it feels like it realises it’s got a lot to say and begins to try and say it all, quickly and jarringly with the rest of the film.
This doesn’t fill me with excitement about the forthcoming Blade Runner sequel. I was pretty excited to see what Scott would do with the universe now, but after seeing this, I’m very, very scared.