Thursday, 31 May 2012

Prometheus - spoiler-free thoughts

A big perk (sometimes) of being a Projectionist is having to run a film through before the public sees it. Its an even bigger perk when its a film you've been dying to see. So this morning saw me all alone in a 350-seat auditorium, being paid to watch "Prometheus" - what could be bad about that eh? Sadly, the film. It starts well and looks terrific - although setting it only 80 years from now is a BIG mistake. No way will we have technology that advanced by then. The Prometheus ship itself is excellent and i'll be buying the inevitable kit, and the interiors are very close to the Nostromo's, tying both films together there. I can buy a prequels technology being better than the film that follows as the prequels ship is a state of the art craft while Alien's is a beat-up tug. So far, so good then. The film unfolds at a nice sedate pace, again similar to Alien, there's a few lines that are near indentical from Alien & Aliens, which i'm surprised at Ridely for doing and up to the half-way point i was really rather enjoying it. But, when it all starts to kick off, something so absurd and so unbelievable happens that i was taken right out of the film with a real "whaaaat??????" moment. Its totally ludicrous and the film suffers from that moment on because of it, as you're reminded of it in pretty every secne from then on. That'd be bad enough, but then we start to get explanations. For everything. The whole point of calling Alien "Alien" was because of the mystery and how what they encounter is so Alien to us. Well now its not. This is spoiler-free, so i can't say why, but every reason and every explanation reduces the established continuity down to some dumb-ass, cliched crappy seen it all before type of SF film. Just the same way the Thing reboot was. We also get along the way, almost word for word dialogue from the first 2 films, characters stolen from the first 2 films, scenes lifted from the first 2 films. And the new creature designs... Those in Alien and Aliens are truly worthy of being called classic and iconic. These are not. Again, i refer you to the Thing reboot. Such, such a shame. The whole thing comes across not so much in the style of Alien, its much more Sunshine mixed heavily with Mission To Mars. Such a shame. If Alien is a 10 (which it is) then Aliens is a 9. And this is a 6.


Andrew Glazebrook said...

I often wonder what some screen writers get paid for, if I was doing an SF film I'd hire an actual SF author, somebody who does SF for a living. Larry Niven,Brian Aldiss, Ben Bova etc... I'm still looking forward to Prometheus just because it's Ridley Scott and it's Sci-Fi, but for me the days of films being memorable has long since past, I rarely see anthing these days that have the impact of movies I watched back in the 70's and 80's !!!

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