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36 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very shiny turd is still a turd, December 5, 2012
This review is from: Prometheus (Amazon Instant Video)
Part ALIEN VS PREDATOR and part Chariots of the Gods, PROMETHEUS is a beautiful but convoluted mess of a movie that manages to breath a tiny bit of life into an old franchise, but not much else.

The plot - which is more or less explained in the trailers - is fairly simple: 80 years into the future scientists find evidence that aliens have been to earth - and that they've left a clue as to where to meet them. Naturally, we go to find out what all the cave drawings are about and predictably, things go terribly wrong.

Considering that PROMETHEUS is set in the ALIEN universe (something that only the newest trailers even admit to), nearly every ALIEN fan will immediately recognize the similarities - the alien world, a morally corrupt robot, a large corporation with it own designs, and lots of space ship stuff (both alien in nature and human). Which is all well and good, but somehow returning director Ridley Scott and writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof still manage to step on their dicks, despite a massive budget and familiar stomping grounds.

The plot is simple, which is fine (it is a prequel to a movie who's sole original purpose was to have someones chest explode from the inside out after all), but so are the characters - all very one dimensional, very flat. Some of that's because it's just not a great cast - the "Ripley" type character is played by Noomi Rapace who is a fine actor, but simply doesn't have either the charisma or physique to pull off her role in this film. Other roles are just as flat. Ironically, only Michael Fassbender as the robot is interesting in the slightest.

Besides the flatness of characters, they also act unbelievably - a death knell for any scifi movie, no matter how big the sets. Characters take off their helmets in what's clearly a f'd up looking spaceship where shit's gone wrong - 'cause that's safe. When they discover what should be the biggest thing in history, they seem no more amazed then if they had just bought a Happy Meal and the toy was broken. They then leave that discovery because it will be getting cold outside - not 150 degrees below zero cold mind you, just cold. I guess the trillion dollar expedition forgot to bring matches for a fire. Just totally unbelievable.

No sense from the script (which is set so relatively near in the future) if there's even been any other alien life discovered before this trip or even when warp drive was discovered. It doesn't seem like the adventure of a life time to these characters (which of course it should), but more like a pain in the ass trip to the corner store for diapers. When they see the giant human head statue found on a deserted world in the middle of dead space, no one bats so much as an eyelash. Absolutely the wrong tone. Even the characters in the original ALIEN - who were nothing but glorified space truckers - took more glee in their potential discovery.

Equally stupid are the character's actions - Somehow 2 characters get lost 50 feet from the front door of the alien ship.... then even more inexplicably are left behind there b/c no one knows they're missing. One guy gets infected by what I guess is an alien, but says NOTHING (you know, even though they're on a trillion dollar scientific research spaceship). Just dumb, both in believability and in tone.

Just as wrong in tone is the music, which half the time is brilliant (when he channels Jerry Goldsmith) and the rest of the time is just awful. For some unknown reason, Scott must have instructed composer Marc Streitenfeld to write "hero" music for the "Prometheus" alien, which any time it's played take one immediately out of any sort of suspense that might have built up to that point. Absolutely stupid and again it makes one wonder just how Scott could have made such a plainly wrong decision - it is a horror movie after all, right? At other times, when the shit hits the fan, the music is so loud and so wrong that it literally kills any danger that characters you barely care about might be in.

And lastly, the continuity errors. Just oodles of them when compared to the original, including two so huge they had to be on purpose... didn't they?

In the end, you really have to ask yourself why this movie was made. Whatever it does for the storyline could have been done in about a 1/4 of the screen time - and regardless of the storytelling (or lack thereof), it covers much of the same ground that ALIEN V PREDATOR did (without ever telling the audience whether or not we should consider that movie canon or not). If I sound frustrated, that's because I am. The ALIEN universe is a cool one, with more then enough story-lines to do something new. The "revelations" this movie shows us are A) predictable and B) underwhelming, both in scope and execution. At times, just when you think the movie might pull it's feet from the blah mire it's in and reach something special, it falls right back into the goop.

Simply put, a movie set in that universe with a $150 plus million budget aught not be so average. It feels like it should be a great film, or at least a very good film (mostly because of the amazing sets and CG work), but in the end it's terribly blah. In the end, I'd have to say that AVP is actually a better movie, b/c while that film doesn't reach nearly so high, it does actually achieve what it sets out to do.

Hate to say it, but after ROBIN HOOD and now this, it's clear that Ridley's lost it.

BOTTOM LINE: 3 I think Michael Fassbender looks like a young Peter O'Toole too! out of 5
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 6, 2012 1:01:16 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 6, 2012 1:17:30 PM PST
R. Bell says:
Thanks for your thoughtful review and restraint on pushing the one-star button. Despite the flaws in this movie, check out the BD for some answers. I don't agree that Ridley's lost it; he just bowed to commercial pressures to make the inevitable sequels. I cross my fingers that Ridley will still be around to direct it. He's getting up there.

I think Scott was drawn into the Robin Hood thing [I haven't seen it] with his research on "Kingdom of Heaven," which is much better when restored to the Director's Cut.

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 2:42:36 AM PST
JT says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 1:56:56 PM PDT
JJ says:
Great and humorous review. I agree 100% The movie was terrible, unbelievable, and a waste of time
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