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Friday, June 8, 2012
For sci-fi violence including intense images, and brief language
Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron
Damon Lindelof, Jon Spaihts, Ridley Scott
A team of scientists and explorers go on a distant world journey to discover the answers to our most profound questions and to life's ultimate mystery.
Prometheus (2012) | Review
Looking For Answers To THE Questions
First piece of frustrating news will be for fans of the film Alien. Is Prometheus a prequel? Not in any traditional sort of sense. It does have ties to that film, but the ties are tenuous and implied at best (at least until a final scene, that quite frankly, seemed to be there for no other reason than to solidify the ties, but without answers to any questions to how the films actually tie together, is rather frustrating). I'm telling you this so you can go in with the proper expectations. Oh, there are story beats and moments that resonate quite strongly with Ridley's masterpiece, but those often get in the way of the type of story being told in this movie and it often feel like those moments are in here more or less just to remind us that, yes, the movies are connected... somewhat.
The second frustration is that this movie didn't even really need to tie-in all that much with Alien. In fact, if it hadn't worried as much about doing so and had been content with being its own kind of movie just set in the same universe, I think it may have been much more compelling. Or on the flip side, just go ahead and make it a full-on prequel that neatly sets things in place for the other film. The story of Prometheus, of humans setting off on an adventure to meet the beings that perhaps seeded life here on Earth—to find questions to things like why were we made, do we have to die, what is our purpose—is pretty heady and interesting stuff. Plus, the sense of wonder and exploration with that tinge of dangers is fun stuff. The problem is Prometheus is content to let everything remain nebulous. The crew finds what they're looking for, but they don't find answers. Things happen filled with a sense of impending doom, but there isn't a motivation or context given. "Why" questions are brushed aside with the "just because" of getting from once scene to another. Had more time been spent, not necessarily answering the questions fully, but giving them more nuance and substance and meaning to chew on, with some nudges towards possible answers and within the context of some sort of motivation for the events, this could have been another sci-fi masterpiece. Perhaps some will still think it is, due to its vagueness; but while sometimes less is more, less can also sometimes be not enough.
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