|Giant Evil Head|
The much anticipated and long delayed prequel to the original Alien (which ultimately seemed to be more of a reimagining/reboot) has finally hit theatres. Was it worth the wait? Ehhhh I don't know. This movie, while visually stunning, well paced, and full of the sorts of things you'd expect from say, Alien, is just that. This movie more or less IS Alien, in every single god damned way. Only this isn't 1979, and Alien has already been made. I think viewing this as a remake is the only way to redeem it, but even then all it does is set up for a movie that maybe I'd want to watch.
For starters, this movie suffers from Cardboard Character Syndrome. If you can go down the list of characters saying "the true believer", "The skeptic" "the nerdy skittish guy" "the salty captain" that's a bad fucking sign for your movie and its characters. There are some movies that can get away with it, but a movie that essentially revisits a movie that's already been made is mostly going to be interesting on the basis of character interaction. I just didn't really get that from Prometheus. These characters aren't especially deep, they're not particularly interesting, and they are almost unanimously DUMB AS HELL. This movie, like many others that involve people in dark scary caves, has people who seem to have never experienced danger in their lives. Elizabeth Shaw chastises the away team security when he tries to bring a weapon "this is a science mission" Big fucking deal lady, just because you intend peaceful science doesn't mean everything on this blasted alien hellscape will. Oh! the air is breathable, so let's ALL TAKE OUR FUCKING HELMETS OFF. I thought these people were scientists for crap's sake! Oh I'm sure nothing microbial that will kill you all could be in the air, because it's breathable! The whole movie is full of behavior that suggests all these people are desperately trying to get themselves killed. I'm not even going to talk about running away in a straight line from a rolling giant crashing space ship.
|I'm going to kill you all for kicks.|
This also grants my second opportunity in as many weeks to watch a movie where Charlize Theron is a crazy person who is raging about something and wants to rule something. Really her character in Prometheus is a lot like her character in Snow White. Logan Marshall-Green plays a character who is barely in the movie in any meaningful way, but still manages to be an unlikable prick in the few scenes where he contributes. I know I'm supposed to be feeling something about him dying, but all I can think is "first decent thing he's done so far." All over I felt that. Whenever the movie wanted to try and deliver a poignant, emotional moment, it was clear that the movie was trying, and it felt hokey and didn't work, because the characters just weren't human enough for me to give a crap about them. That includes the robot, though I enjoyed Fassbender's very nexus-6 android performance.
|IT WAS A SCIENCE MISSION!!!|
It was cool to see Giger's creepy ass sets in action again, and the re-imagined alien vectors were really neat, but I just didn't come away with a lot to like. I was literally shaking my head in the theatre while this crew of imbeciles threw their lives away by failing to follow any kind of quarantine protocol and wandering into a proverbial minefield with their eyes squeezed shut. Perhaps the character who pissed me off most was Noomi Rapace's Shaw, who makes a pretty poor fill in for Ellen Ripley. While I think she has a swell range as an actress, I just found her character incredibly frustrating, because she is constantly doing stupid things based on stupid baseless suppositions that aren't even well thought out (why she decided to be a scientists of any sort would be a fascinating question). Oh, her godlike and cuddly 'engineers' wanted to wipe out mankind with these aliens. Whose to say that these engineers were all working together? What about human nature would lead you to believe that man's creators all agreed about everything? They find some scary aliens that were maybe meant for Earth, and she's instantly in tears "Why did our makers all hate us so much boo hoo" I'd guess they hated us because they assumed we were all as stupid as Dr. Shaw. More than that, what about the gods of ancient myth would lead a person to believe that these aliens were nice? As I recalled, the Mayans spent a lot of time carving people's hearts out in sacrifice to the gods. Sounds pretty rough to me.
In the end, I just wasn't feeling Prometheus. It did what Alien did in '79, only it did it with prettier effects, and much, much worse characters. One thing I can say for the cast, don't you think Logan Marshall-Green would make a swell Commander Shepard in the forthcoming Mass Effect Movie?
|This is Reaper tech, it has to be destroyed!|