My God, We Were So Wrong…
When Samrizon recommended that I watch today’s movie, she seemed a little deflated that I said it may have to wait quite some time. As with most movies in theaters, I can’t really afford to go and see everything people want me to when it’s in theaters. I’d much rather wait until I can find it for a dollar on RedBox or on Netflix. But I did indeed want to see this movie, being a fan (to different degrees) of the quadrilogy that already existed. When Friendboss Josh heard the Who’s singing in Whoville and his heart grew three sizes this day, I was afforded the ability to go to a theater that was playing the movie for only $5. This movie is Prometheus, written by Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts, directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Kate Dickie, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong, and Patrick Wilson.
In the year 2089, two archaeologists, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), find a cave painting in Scotland that, along with similar murals from groups that never met each other from around the world, points to a star like our own sun and a habitable planet. They take this as an invitation from a group they call “the Engineers”, who they believe created our species. The elderly CEO of Weyland Corporation, Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), funds a ship called Prometheus to take the two archaeologists and a group of other people to the planet to see if they can find the Engineers. An android called David (Michael Fassbender) wakes up the crew as they arrive in the year 2093. They find a collection of non-artificial structures and start to explore them, soon finding dead bodies of the Engineers, which are more human than they originally thought. Also, there’s a black goo that they find that starts some bad things into motion. And also some good things. I mean, have you seen Alien? That’s a good movie!
I went into this movie REALLY wanting to be blown away, but try as it might, the movie never really resonated with me. It wasn’t a bad movie, but I was hoping for a major nerd boner that never arrived. And I need this, guys. I’m single and hurting. I’ll probably need to watch Avengers again to get my fix. This movie just didn’t excite me. It was pretty slow moving until the last half hour. At first it’s just archaeology, then it’s just space travel, then it’s just a mystery that’s not that mysterious. Not until someone gets infected later in the movie does shit start going down that captures my attention. The mystery part is somewhat excusable because I went into this movie know it was a prequel to a movie I’ve already seen, so this entire movie just becomes a waiting game until we get to see a Xenomorph. I got a little excited that shit was gonna go down when Shaw told one of the other crew members to leave the weapon behind when they were heading into the structure. I didn’t get excited because that’s a good idea, because it’s entirely not. Sure, it’s a scientific expedition, but better safe than sorry, right? But usually when a bonehead decision like that is made in the name of noble scientific enterprise, shit goes down and people start dying. That didn’t happen. Around the time when someone gets infected is when the movie starts to pick up, but I was also getting angry because some jerkfaces in the audience were talking and someone said, “He’s infected,” really loudly. Ya think? Are you basing that on what you’re seeing now or the part where we watched the guy cause him to get infected in a super obvious way? Later on, there’s a hurried surgery scene that is rich with thrills, and from that point on it doesn’t let up, but I wished it had happened sooner. For one more thing, I won’t spoil it directly so I’ll just turn it into a metaphor. If two people are running away from a hula hoop, should it really take that long to realize that you can side-step it instead of continuing to run in front of it? If you see the movie, that’ll make more sense.
I would say that, by far, the best thing about this movie is definitely the look. It’s a spectacular visual feast. The movie lets you know that much pretty quickly into the movie as they open with a big sweep over huge and gorgeous landscapes on the moon LV-223. Almost everything looks amazing in this movie. The Engineers (though they look like Powder on steroids) are great looking creatures that could look either benevolent or malevolent, so you never really know which way they’ll go with the story. The structure and the aliens are still heavily influenced by H.R. Giger, which means they’re going to be creepy and dark, but also awesome. The first version of the aliens that are encountered bummed me out for two reasons. First, they didn’t look like the facehuggers that we know and love. Second, they were REALLY phallic. And they go into the mouth. I can’t wait until they turn Prometheus into a porn. The holographic star map that David watches later in the movie is also a visual delight, but I couldn’t help but think that it was the futuristic version of a laser light show, without the benefit of REO Speedwagon. The only real visual problem with the movie was Peter Weyland. You could have actually hired an old guy instead of putting really unconvincing old guy makeup on a young dude. And you didn’t even try when it came to his feet!
The performances in the movie were good, but not what I’d call great. They were what the roles called for, but that usually left them being not altogether compelling to me. Noomi Rapace did a good job, but I was disappointed by her character. I think one of the things that’s been a staple in all of the Alien movies is a badass female lead. Sigourney Weaver was a boss. Ellen Ripley was always right up there with Sarah Connor as some of the most badass women to ever grace the screen. And it’s not like Noomi can’t do badass; she was the original Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies. But in this movie, she was never a badass. She was pretty standard damsel in distress all the way through that was just a scientist and was only our heroine because we were watching the bad things happen all around her. I know it wasn’t really the character she was going for, but I missed it. Charlize Theron was kind of a badass bitch, but way more bitch than badass, so certainly no replacement for Ripley. I liked that apparently all it takes to have sex with her is to suggest that she might be a robot. Speaking of which, Michael Fassbender was good in his role, but it was totally ruined for me when Samrizon ruined that he was a robot. Okay, so you find that out pretty quickly, but Samrizon should shut her damned cake hole. Fassbender definitely acted like a robot, but a robot isn’t always the most impressive performance. You have to be stiff and robotic, which isn’t all that interesting to watch. And you kind of get the idea of where the movie is going from his performance because he doesn’t hide the fact that he’s not that big of a fan of humans.
I really wanted Prometheus to blow me away, but it didn’t really manage to do so. The story was fine, but it takes a while for it to get going. Once it does, it remains pretty awesome for a while, but I started to get bored waiting for that to start. The look of the movie was completely fantastic and worth seeing for just the spectacle alone. The performances were fine in the movie, but never blew my mind. I understand that you couldn’t put Ellen Ripley in this chronologically, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a character that’s just as awesome. The movie didn’t impress me, but I still think it’s worth seeing in the theaters. It’s a good movie, but not as good as I wanted it to be. Check it out, but it might help to have lower expectations. Prometheus gets “Big things have small beginnings” out of “WE are the gods now.”
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Ha! Powder on steroids. Awesome!
Thank you. I worked long and hard on that joke.