Friday, June 15, 2012

Prometheus is an Interesting Chapter to Alien Story, but Fails to Capture the True Spirit and Loses Itself in Exposition

Prometheus (3 out 5 Stars)
Directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down)
Written by Joseph Spaihts (The Darkest Hour), Damon Lindelof (Lost)
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender, and Charlize Theron

When I looked at the June film releases I was giddy with excitement.  Snow White and the Huntsman looked fun and like it would be the most entertaining of the legends adaptations.  Rock of Ages looked fun, but with its release today it feels as though the fun has been sucked out of 80s music (which is hard to do).  Next week is Pixar's first film with a female lead entitled Brave, another giddy moment.  As reviews have trickled out the film looks less like Wall-E and Up and more like Cars or a decent Dreamworks film.  I was excited for Magic Mike (and the gay man in me still is) but the trailers make this film look awful.  Prometheus was a part of this group for me.  

Prometheus is a part of the Alien world.  The build up for this film was massive.  When the film was announced there was this immediate response from fans of the quadrilogy assuming this was a prequel to all of the four films.  This rumor was dispelled, but the creative team behind the film said that the film was a part of the "Alien world."  The trailers helped with the build up, they made this film seem irresistible, a can't miss.  This was actually one of the best trailers because it did not give away too much of the story, and made fans and non fans alike want to line up to see what the hype was all about.

The reason the trailer was good at not giving away the plot was because the plot is hard to giveaway.  The film centers on two scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall Green) who have found a pattern of cave drawings throughout the entire globe that fit the exact same pattern.  These patterns fuel their belief that their is a life form out in space that connects all the pattern of these cave drawings.  Two years after the discovery the two become part of a space expedition to explore the place that aligned with the cave drawings.

That's about as specific I can get about the plot without getting into spoilers or the material that makes the film too expositional. Joseph Spaihts and  Damon Lindelof scripted a film that has an brilliantly close feel at the start to the first film, Alien.  As the film progresses I can only assume that Lindelof, from Lost fame made the film more of an expositional.  What do I mean by expositional?  The film gets sidetracked by myth and lore rather than focusing on the simplicity that could exist within this Universe.  

Ridley Scott must take some credit for the direction of this film; he has a wonderful vision and created and inspired landscape.  Scott's is a masterful direction, and his connection with this world is apparent.  The problem is that even within interviews Scott gives in to the myth as well.  There are numerous connections to spirituality, like a cross Elizabeth wears, and this eternal belief she and Charlie have in something greater.  While the myth has its moments that make the film interesting it sometimes bogs down the material, and makes you feel like within religion that the belief that this should be good overpowers the actuality that things may not be what you expected.

While the film was not everything I expected there were some aspects that steadied the ship and kept things from sinking too far.  Michael Fassbender acted as the savior to this film; his role as the robot David was fantastic.  David was meant to appear human, and there were times you almost felt as though he was, but even David himself says that he was made to look human for this sole purpose.  Fassbender played manipulative and caring at the same time, but being that he was a robot he was not meant to have any emotions so conveying these concepts shows the skills this man possesses.

Along with Fassbender  the film's technical aspects are strong.  Dariusz Wolski's cinematography captures the starkness of the planet while also utilizing the lighting to capture some haunting images in the caves, and even in the ship Prometheus.  Combined with the art direction, sound, editing, and visual effects, these elements make this film more than a lost soul, but a visionary world.  Love it, hate it, or even if you do not get it this film will get you talking, and that is something that helps it rise above other films.

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