|Visual Reviews | New This Week | Out Now | New This Week | Coming Soon | The Buzz | Index | Archive A-Z|
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
Keep 'Em Guessing
Prometheus marks Ridley Scott's first directorial foray into science fiction since his seminal movie, Blade Runner (also being re-made). With a screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof (Lost, Cowboys & Aliens), he manages to echo Alien while creating a back story set in a thoroughly imagined world of its own. Hands down, the movie is gorgeous to look at and, ten minutes in, the amount of detail that went into it is evident.
From the beginning, the movie sets the tone for the themes and issues that run through it. The movie opens with shots of a planet, both dark and hauntingly beautiful. Set against this tableau is a pale-skinned humanoid, who ingests something that causes him to break down at a genetic level. Even with these few simple frames, the film poses questions: Who is this? Why are they here? What is its purpose? WHY IS IT TOUCHING THAT? WHY. IS. IT. DOING. THAT? These are the type of questions the writers continue to pose and leave the audience to keep guessing at.
"God does not build in straight lines." --Holloway
Enter: humans. A scientist couple, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), who have discovered recurring patterns in ancient cave paintings all over the world. They interpret them as a message from alien creators, inviting them to come visit them. [WHY?] A trillion dollars later, specifically December 2093, they're on the spaceship, Prometheus. Together the audience is presented with a crew of skeptical scientist (Green), "red shirts," a ball-busting corporate shill (Charlize Theron, fresh from Snow White and the Huntsmen), and a black guy (Idris Elba, who is cool in anything), all of whom might as well have walked around with the words "Monster Snacks" on their foreheads. Oh, and a scene chewing robot (Michael Fassbender).
And therein is the second problem in a nutshell. The movie is full of stock characters who barely rise above the level of caricature, who (pretensions of deep philosophizing about creation and God aside) spout predictable dialogue, do predictable things, thus robbing the movie of any air of menace, all against a gorgeous background.
"If they made us, surely they could save us." --Weyland
The power of science fiction is its ambition to wrestle with big ideas, or in this case, pursue answers to big questions. At the heart of Prometheus is a scientist asking the most meaningful questions about life: why were we created? Why are we here? Seeking her creator's approval and needing to ask him/them questions, Shaw wants to confront the beings referred to as the Engineers, regardless of how disappointing she may find the answers. After all, if her "creators" were actually making weapons of mass destruction in order to wipe out humanity, that only leads to more questions: Why did you change your mind? What did we do wrong?
"I deserve to know why." ‐Shaw
While the movie and the ship derive their name from the myth of a fire-stealing Titan who wanted to make humanity equal to the gods, the movie's conceit brought to mind the image of Job when he confronted God about why he had so much suffering in his life. Those were the climactic chapters of the book of Job, 38-41, as he wrestled with reconciling a good God with the natural and human evil in creation. So when Job wanted God to account for Himself for how unjustly Job had been allowed to suffer, here was the answer he received [Job 40:8-14 (as rendered in The Message)]:
Continue: 1 2
Copyright © 2012 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
More About Prometheus
Home | Movies | DVDs | Music | Books | Comix | TV | Games | Sports | HJ Live! | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Contact Us | Subscribe | Donate