Prometheus Screen 7 articles

Prometheus

2012

Prometheus Poster
  • As in any Ridley Scott attempt to grapple with “big themes,” the ideas in Prometheus get handled with utter heavy-handedness in those few moments where they aren’t being ignored entirely in favor of empty bombast.

  • By trying to retroactively justify the immense cultural fallout and industry impact of his superbly executed, pre-CGI B-movie by recasting it and its sequels as nothing less than events in the history of faith, Scott reveals himself as at best a dupe dragged along by a screenwriter in fanboy thrall to a franchise, and at worst as a doddering hack pissing away—or rather all over—his legacy. Either way, it’s not a good look—no, Sir.

  • “Prometheus” not only plays with fire but sends plenty of junk flying off the screen and aimed at your head — too bad so much of it is theological. The philosophical speculations and genre cross-references are a draggy distraction, particularly if the viewer is psyched for a nerve-wracking, yuck-fest thrill machine like “Alien” or “Aliens.”

  • Ultimately, it feels like it should be David's story but isn't—he's as much a cipher as HAL 9000, except HAL wasn't subject to all the "real boy" nudging that Prometheus introduces and then largely abandons.

  • This fleetingly intense focus on spectacle explains in part why the film’s narrative is so difficult to follow. We cut instantly from this awe-inspiring moment of 21st century photogénie back to the narrative of Holloway’s rapidly deteriorating health. He dies and suddenly we are with Dr. Shaw, who spends no time grieving for her partner and is now suddenly pregnant with an alien baby, which will soon be extracted from her body in a visual moment the film similarly revels in.

  • What Scott otherwise has fashioned is something far stranger [than an Alien prequel]: an ambitious, willfully imperfect sci-fi tone poem that has the courage to leave things unexplained. As in 2001: A Space Odyssey, there’s the sense that neither the characters nor the audience will completely understand what they find. Such dramaturgical nebulousness is anathema in Hollywood movies—but it’s also representative of the way science works.

  • The inclusion of gestures to the monstrosity of humanity are palpable in the gigantic and shamanistic, pale “Engineers,” with their strange mortogenetic practices and their crude equivalent in the synthetic cyborg played by Fassbender who gives an unforgettable performance, sitting well inside the uncanny valley as an affect-less, but strangely convivial, psychopath.

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