Sunday, July 1, 2012

Movies: Prometheus

The movie "Alien" is one of my all-time favorites. Therefore I went with high expectation to Ridley Scott´s "Prometheus", the fifth of the "Alien"-franchise and the british director`s return to the science fiction genre (imdb). My anticipation also was heated by all the media hype about Hollywood`s new glamour project with a budget north of $100 million.

I left the cinema with mixed feelings. Yes, the flick showed the technological advance of the science fiction-action cinema since the first "Alien" movie (1979). There were some fascinating views into a large spaceship and onto an alien planet. But that is exactly what you expect from a brand name like Scott.

I was disappointed by the plot, which didn´t really make sense to me. "Prometheus" can not attach to the stringency and clearness of the first "Alien" flick. And the movie certainly doesn´t show the state of art in science fiction represented by authors like Gregory Benford, Ted Chiang, Nancy Kress or Alistair Reynold´s, who interweave spectacular scientific ideas with interesting narratives. 

"Prometheus" is just another popcorn cinema to please a huge diverse crowd with different tastes - the usual common denominator of Hollywood´s blockbusters. In contrast the first "Alien" movie was an independent movie focused on a specialized audience.

I got the impression that the makers were unsure about making a remake of "Alien" or instead a prequel to it. Some scenes were just quotes of the origin, others tried to find new ways, with less success. "Prometheus" asks just the same philosophical questions the characters in Scott´s "Blade Runner" inquired. It seems that the director and his team didn't advance much since then. Maybe the weaknesses of this film, which are common to many big budget productions, can be explained by the long and tedious development of this project, which started in 2002 and involved a lot of persons (wikipedia).

But anyway the film had some strengths - which showed Scott`s talents - and could create some suspense, at least for some minutes.

The casting was typical for productions of this kind. The makers collected different types to cater different tastes in the vast audience. My favorite actor was Michael Fassbender, who played the advanced robot, which is part of every "Alien" movie.   Charlize Theron showed her beauty, but was a bit underemployed. Noomi Rapace was a bit more convincing as the woman with survival instincts, but couldn't really compete with Sigourney Weaver. The rest of the actors interested partly more by their fancy hairstyles than with their acting. But this wasn´t their fault, instead of the script.

I am still a fan of Ridley Scott because of "Alien" and "Blade Runner". Maybe the director can impress me more the next time.

1 comment:

  1. I find I agree with everything you have said, and could add little. I too had hoped for more and felt let down.
    I don't see 'em showing this film in 33 years' time to the same acclaim as 'Alien.'