Prometheus

With humble thanks in my soul to our great Queenie for an extra day off I went to see Prometheus today at an Odeon cinema with a digital screen / sound etc. I chose not to see it in 3D as I have a low opinion of the medium at present. I have seen Avatar, Tron and Alice in Wonderland in 3D and enjoyed the first two more in 2D on Bluray and the latter less so (because at least the effects detracted from the weak script). Based on that sample of three and the fact that you pay extra for them to spoil the film for you I went for the cheaper option.

So my opinion? First some background. I absolutely frickin’ love the Aliens (and Predator) franchise and so when I heard that Ridley Scott was making a 2 part prequel I almost wet myself with excitement. Well okay, I exagerate, but I think maybe a little drop did come out. I recently bought the Bluray boxset of the Alien stuff and have devoured every minute of every special feature like a fetal alien eating its way out of someone’s body to scream at the light of day. My anticipation and that of my fellow viewers (of which there were only some twenty – which was excellent – althought there were some popcorn crunching idiots intent on creating a background ‘rats in the wall cavities’ (or maybe in the ceiling) static which had to be phased out) was palpable as the stunning opening sequence started off and led into the title. Eye-candy a go-go! Which boded well for the next 2 hours.

Eye-candy was sustained throughout helped in some turns by under-used Charlize Theron and the excellent set design hopefully employed H R Giger again or at least following his original design work for ‘Alien’. He gets a big credit at the end so I hope they at least invited him to set. Prop design was in keeping with the other films without feeling too much like a homage and the attention to detail for some of the stuff was most satisfying – I particularly liked the Weyland company logo on the android’s fingerprint.

I am trying to avoid spoilers but to explain in more detail why I was, unfortunately, slightly disappointed with the whole show I will have to mention a few plot points. So if you haven’t seen it yet please don’t read on. In summary it delivered on a few levels but felt a bit mish-mashy along the way and perhaps I am being picky? But….

Why bother making Guy Pearce up as an old duffer if you are not later going to use his normal younger face? why not just employ an old duffer actor – I’m sure there would have been an old duffer actor just gagging for a spot on such a big film. Good make-up though!

Near the end where the obligatory ‘ultimate sacrifice’ has to feature if one is to follow the Hollywood formula there is too much of a sacrifice with no real logic. The captain of the eponymous ship makes the decision to crash it into the escaping ‘engineer’ vessel – all well and good and expected of the captain in that situation. What sits less comfortably is why two of his crew members (who have featured very little and we don’t care about) also decide to join him in saving mankind in a blaze of glory. He gives them the option of going off with Charlise to an escape pod and they stay. Doh! makes no sense. taking it one step further these guys are surrounded by technology – you’re telling me there’s no auto-pilot that couldn’t have been used to pilot the ship on a collision course with the other vessel. Crap.

I avoided all but the long trailer that showed on Channel 4 about two months ago because I didn’t want any spoilers, but one thing intrigued me and that was whether an alien – as in the alien from Alien, Aliens etc. etc. would be making an appearance. It kind of does right at the end of the film and it is so much of a cludgey after-thought that I just was left thinking ‘why bother?’

I liked the fact that the girl with the dragon tattoo survived and got in a ship to go back the engineers’ home planet to ask them that all important question, but I was then kind of expecting to see her crash it and we see the rows and rows of alien eggs inside. Didn’t happen, but would’ve linked up better with ‘Alien’ if it had. Unless of course there is going to be another Prometheus film as first touted on the Internet – because things we didn’t see were – Charlise definately dying (and not being an android), the captain and his two mates dying and what happens to the crappy alien, and of course what happens to Lisbeth.

I though the enormous face hugger squid thing was ludicrous (not ‘baby alien’ in Alien 3 ludicrous, but ludicrous all the same) and the fact that the elephantile face of the pilot from Alien was just a mask with a big guy underneath in a suit. My mate liked that though. I suppose it worked in the context of the film, it just felt like a cop-out from the ‘really alien’ idea of the pilot I had been holding in my head for years after seeing ‘Alien’.

The special effects were crazy good, apart from the surgery scene which was a bit naff – it looked like the abdominal cut was CG and should’ve been practical – I’ll have to wait and see the ‘making of’ some time in the future. He probably used a pig or something and that is actually what it looks like and it didn’t look real to me at all. I could see were the 3D elements would kick in, but I doubt it would’ve aided the story-telling any. What seemed to be lacking for me was a thorough building up of anyone’s character apart from David the android (or, as they kept I think incorrectly refering to him as, robot) excellently played by that Irish/German bloke out of Inglorious Basterds.

Perhaps someone can cooroborate this for me? I thought I saw an open alien egg in the background in the scene where the two geologists are just about to get seriously done over by the alien life forms in the spooky cannisters. maybe my eyes were decieving me or perhaps it was an ‘easter egg’??…

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