Prometheus 2012 ★★★½
Watched Jun 24, 2012
This review reportedly contains spoilers.
I can handle the truth.
Leith Aitken said:
Before I begin, you should know that this review will contain spoilers. Do not read on if you have yet to see the film.
As a huge fan of Ridley Scott's 'Alien' and James Cameron's 'Aliens', it was inevitable for me to look forward to the creator's return to the genre he helped define. What have I learnt? Well, I would say that I've learnt to never look forward to anything but that sounds a lot more harsh than I intend it to be.
To start with, despite its label as a 'prequel' to 'Alien', 'Prometheus' doesn't feel like it should be. The events that occur don't feel quite right when put into perspective of the rest of the franchise. Of course, it's obvious that what happens in 'Prometheus' leads up to the beginning 'Alien'. The explanation of the 'space jockey' is a prime example of this. Other than that, however, the film explains a whole lot that doesn't need explaining. More importantly, did we want all this explained? Well, I didn't. It wasn't necessary.
'Prometheus' is beautifully dark and heavy on the sci-fi angle, but it lacked the horror that the first few films are so famous for. It was kind of strange rewatching 'Alien' just before going to see 'Prometheus'. The technology implemented in the first film of the series looked primitive and now, a film set before the classic 1979 sci-fi/horror, looks incredibly technological. This is an obvious flaw with making a sequel to a sci-fi film made in the late '70s, but it just proves that 'Prometheus' was a bad idea from the beginning. That's not to mention the obvious editing problems.
'Prometheus' is scarred; the second act especially. From the point where (SPOILER ALERT) Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) goes all pyrotechnic on Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green), the pacing is all over the place and it is obvious that the editing stage of production has taken its toll on the final version of the film.
So whose fault is this then? While I would automatically blame Fox for cutting out much of the horror to save from an R-rating, this is in fact not the case. Fox deliberately refrained from making changes to the film which can be seen as a good move after the whole 'Bully' saga. I'm not exactly sure why 'Prometheus' suffers so badly from its editing scars, but I can safely say that the Director's Cut will be the version fanboys will pine for.
Considering how I feel about the 'Alien' and its subsequent sequels, I should technically despise 'Prometheus'. On the other hand, I don't, but I don't love it either. It explains a whole lot that fans of the first few films wouldn't have wanted explained, narrative-wise the film is clunky, and is subsequently an unnecessary addition to the series.