Prometheus unwound

I’m going to use this post to try and put my thoughts on Prometheus into some kind of coherent order. Since I saw it last week, I have found myself ardently defending the film on a couple of occasions. Lots of people seem a bit down on it for one reason or another, but I genuinely enjoyed it from start to finish and I figure that has to be worth something. I mean I would like to think my enjoyment of a film means it has some merit and can’t be reduced to “There were pretty colours and things went boom!”

SPOILERS after the jump, suckas.

It’s fair to say that prior to the film’s release the Prometheus hype machine worked harder than that one guy whose job it is to airbrush all the Sex and the City posters. For several months, you could not get away from trailers, clips and extended previews of the film. I studiously avoided watching almost all of them and didn’t read any of the many articles and interviews which appeared online.

Had I not dodged all the previews, I may now have a different view of Prometheus. I feel like possibly they set up a lot of people up for disappointment by promoting the film the way in which they did. All the talk of Ridley Scott’s return to science fiction and the film’s tie-in to Alien set expectations for Prometheus very high.

Personally I ended up feeling like the Alien stuff got in the way mostly, particularly when it was made overt. And when, at the end of the film, we were shown the origins of the Alien monster, it was so redundant that I groaned inwardly.

Because Prometheus has a much grander scope than any of the Alien films. It’s about space exploration and our first encounter with alien life and the creation of mankind, which are all huge subjects; so huge in fact that the film is unable to offer any kind of real answers to any of the questions which are posed. On the one hand, that’s a weakness which comes from poor scripting, but on the other I liked that I was left with more questions than answers. I would rather I felt that was a deliberate move by the writers rather than sloppy scripting, but nevermind.

If you care to analyse the story, there are also quite a few bizarre developments which do not make sense in the context of the story. So the script is flawed, but events do unfold quite nicely and there are lots of interesting things happening on screen. Also, the pure science fiction elements like the technology and the aliens are handled brilliantly.

I found all of the characters enjoyable, probably because the cast is top notch and they were able to elevate the dialogue in many scenes. I get a bit sad when I read people comparing Michael Fassbender to Ian Holm or Lance Henriksen, because it just shows that they haven’t been able to sit back and enjoy the film on its own merits. The same principle goes for any of the other characters, but I see it with Fassbender’s David more than any other.

From what I can tell, I’m in the minority, because when I saw Prometheus I managed to detach myself, sit back and enjoy the ride. I actually liked seeing it in 3D, as the 3D was not overwhelming like it is in some action films and it enhanced some of the visual effects; for example I particularly liked the scene near the start where David watches Elizabeth’s dreams. Prometheus is a much better film than made-in-3D rubbish like Avatar, so I was watching a good film which happened to have some nice 3D effects rather than a crappy film which was being sold on it’s 3D visuals. It didn’t completely convert me to 3D, but it did make me feel like potentially 3D can be used in interesting ways and not get in the way of an enjoyable cinema experience.

If you too can manage to get past all the hyperbole and all the comparisons to Alien, and just get into the action, the slick visuals and the fun characters, you might like Prometheus as much as I did.


3 Responses to “Prometheus unwound”

  1. I was watching Aliens last night on TV, and granted the special effect may not have aged so well, but the characters were way more fun. I’d much rather be out drinking with them then the Prometheus crew. 😀

  2. FYI: Apparently Ridley Scott prefers the 2D cut it is quote ‘beautiful’.

  3. thebigsmoke Says:

    Well, I agree with Kermode generally, but I wouldn’t interpret that as Ridley Scott saying he prefers the 2D print exactly… Besides, he probably didn’t really give the 3D print much thought when he was making the film.

    Regardless, I thought it was quite nice in 3D. It worked better than most. Worth adding that it’s a dark movie, so the darkening of the print due to the 3D effect was not such an issue as it has been with previous stuff I’ve seen, like, for example, Thor.

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