Prometheus – Ridley Scott – 2012

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Ridley Scott, when did we lose you? You made Alien, remember? You made Blade Runner and Someone To Watch Over Me. Gladiator and Hannibal were instant classics. What happened? I’ll tell you what happened. Ridley Scott is out of touch and really doesn’t know what a good or interesting screenplay is anymore. It doesn’t matter, cause he’s Ridley Scott, but I guess it was around Black Hawk Down that I really started to notice a lack of formation in his stories.

What the fuck is Prometheus about? Looking for God? I heard Guillermo Del Toro would never make At The Mountains Of Madness because of similarities to this film. How similar to ATMOM is Prometheus? Very, very similar. Only, Prometheus basically recycles the plot points of Alien and all it’s philosophical backbone becomes only so much window-dressing as a giant blue god gets punchy with his human rousers. Gone is the Lovecraftian sense of wonder, the idea that something unimaginable could have been here before.

Elizabeth  Shaw is a waste, an unbelievable archeologist who uses poor science and conjecture to lead a privately funded mission into a remote and unknown star-system. First off, Shaw and her OC boyfriend are sooo miscast. I’d rather have Sam Elliot and Laura Dern. Get the idea? Anyway, these douchers convince the Weyland Corp to send the Prometheus up to planet of danger and despair.

I like the crew of the Prometheus, well, those that aren’t throwaway. Janek is great. He provides most of the laughs in the film as the grounded workingman. He’s just the captian of the ship. Except in one horrible expository scene where he explains everything the film had failed to up to that point. He tells Shaw the planet is a weapons factory. How does he know? Earlier he was just the Captain. Sigh. In the end Janek is likeable and redeemed. So, good for him.

Vickers is a character I found very fun, even if it’s a super C-Movie type of role. The corporate bitch. She stomps around like a storm trooper and barks orders that make no sense. Why is Shaw not to interact with aliens if she meets them? Isn’t that exactly Weyland’s plan? Why does the film keep implying Vickers is a robot? She throws David around and Janek plain out asks her. Why does she die at the end? Who knows? I liked her though.

David is probably the best character in the film. He is a curios character who even exercises what could be considered values. He is beholden to his parent, Peter Weyland, and ultimately serves him. He has those really cool dream-viewing glasses. This gives David an insight into human psychology that he can evaluate even more objectively than the dreamer. These dream glasses are key to understanding why I find Prometheus fun despite its silliness and contradiction. Watching a film is very like watching someone dream. And in dream logic, many silly things, like Weyland suddenly being alive, the geologist getting lost and Shaw after surgery seem not to matter much any more.

I love when David ask OC if what he would do to find what he was looking for. Drunken OC says, “Anything and everything.” And David infects him. David just wants to see what will happen. It is a quest to understand his creators, no different than the human’s quest to find their origins.

The film works pretty well as a horror film. Stupid, clumsy characterizations are put into a meat grinder full of horrific situations. The 3D is the best I have ever seen in any film. Leave to the director whose signature is a lot of shit floating around in the air to be the ultimate master of 3D.

I love so many scenes of the film on their own, but I honestly can’t say I really like the film. I wish in the future the success of this film leads to more big-budget horror films, but this one leaves me so dissatisfied, I just want to kick rocks in the dirt with my head down. I’m riding my bicycle home and putting on a VHS of Alien. Written by Ronald Shussett and Dan O’Bannon. Ah….

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