Prometheus is, at its core, the story of Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), and their quest for answers. Shaw and Holloway are romantically-entwined archaeologists, and they have found the same star constellation in the primitive artwork of several ancient civilizations, separated by thousands of years and thousands of miles.
|"Is that...somebody playing jai-alai?"|
|Giant statue head with made-to-scale aspirin tablet statues|
|That looks vaguely familiar, doesn't it?|
Now, if you've seen the film and are wondering where all the buff Powder clones are, that's what I'm going to get into with "Prometheus: What the Hell Was That?"
While my synopsis may not indicate it, there are actually more than a couple of actors in Prometheus. Noomi Rapace was good as the innocent who has to get tough, but she wasn't great. I wanted to like her character more, but wound up being distracted by some other plot elements instead. I will say that she conveyed pain and fear better than anyone else in the cast, at the very least. Oh, and if you have any fears about pregnancy, she's in a scene that you may not want to watch. Ever.
Idris Elba as the captain of the Prometheus. It was odd seeing a captain play such a passive role in a sci-fi flick, but I enjoyed his laid-back approach. I would have liked to see more of his character, but he did a good job with what he had and his choices at the end of the film didn't feel completely out of left field.
Benedict Wong, Emun Elliott, and a few others --- were inconsequential to the overall acting quality of the film. The character design for Sean Harris was a bit unusual for a geologist. I expected him to be a guard or something, but he was a scientist. So...there's that.
|Sometimes, even smart people get tattoos on their head|
|Dare I say..."Fasstastic"? No, probably not.|
The first thing I think of when I ponder Ridley Scott's direction in Prometheus is how incredibly gorgeous the movie looks. The cinematography is sometimes breathtaking, the sets are impressive in both size and style, and the details of the Prometheus ship technology and the Engineer base are well beyond cool. The imaginative visuals in this movie make it one of the most visually astounding science fiction films I have ever seen.
|I'm not always an IMAX guy, but this looked amazing in IMAX|
|Example number one|
That's really the problem with Prometheus. It has one truly impressive performance (Fassbender) and a good secondary performance (Rapace), a wonderfully developed universe, and an ambitious concept (humans seeking their makers). What it doesn't have is good storytelling. There are a few reveals in this film, but they are predictable and dull. And then there is a twist, which is astounding because it appears to have no motivation. For the first two-thirds of Prometheus, it is a slow-boiling sci-fi thriller with somewhat pretentious themes, and it looks like it's going to be great. And then it suddenly becomes a horror movie, complete with psycho killers and monsters. That just felt cheap to me. I also didn't appreciate the bushels of questions (that is the proper term of measurement for questions, by the way) I was left with when the film finished. Granted, it did get me to ponder the film for an entire week after seeing it --- which is quite a feat --- but I was left unsatisfied. Prometheus is absolutely gorgeous and ambitious, it handles the creation of mankind so well that the existence of an alien Engineer race doesn't preclude the existence of God, and it is very, very impressive. It is also purposefully obtuse and frustrating. As much as I wanted to be blown away by this movie, the story and the unexplained subtext disappointed me. Still, it is certainly worth seeing, if only for the spectacle and Fassbender.
By the by, I wanted to call out prometheus-movie.com as the source for all the cool pics I included in this post. I don't know who's in charge of that site, but they are definitely the web's singular resource for all things --- pics, details, theories, whatever --- Prometheus. And they appear to be pretty bright; after I jotted down my interpretations of what happened in this movie in my follow-up post, I went back to compare my take with theirs and I learned a few things.