June 10, 2012 2 Comments
Thundering into cinemas is Ridley Scott’s big, bold return to the Alien franchise. Let’s be honest, while the creatures themselves have maintained their scary factor (thank you Giger), the franchise itself has lost its way with the AvP mash-ups. Good to see then that Prometheus brings it, generally, back to form.
One of the things that the filmmakers were very careful about were guarding the film’s background, maintaining that it wasn’t necessarily a prequel, but rather something set in the same universe. While its concerns are vastly different from the other films, there are many framings, conflicts, situations, and indeed even specific shots when Noomi Rapace resembles Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, all of which are small nods to fans of the original and give us a sense that we are operating on familiar ground.
That said, I loved the visuals of this film. If anything, Scott’s return to this franchise, after decades and films of development, show visual verve, excitement, power, suspense, and heck pretty much everything that I love about him as a director. He is inventive and comes up with amazing scenes. Favorite scene, and here begin SPOILERS, so SPOILER ALERT is when Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw getting a rush-automated-surgery while trying to prevent a facehugger from ending her.
The action, the chases, the stuff blowing up is tops. Hooray to Ridley Scott for showing us how sci-fi action should be done. I am glad this summer that we’ve seen how superhero movies should be done with Avengers, and we have this as a standout for its action.
Now comes my major issue with it. I don’t know if it’s fair that I blame Damon Lindelof, but I latched onto his name and how people were disappointed with how Lost introduced big philosophical questions but failed to answer anything satisfactorily. That is because as a film, and in its characters, Prometheus brings up the biggest questions on meaning. And then when it comes time to address these questions it decides, uh, we can’t answer that so let’s just blow everything up. The film strives and struggles towards a sense of meaning, and then chucks it out the window at the end.
My own disappointment comes because I was hoping for both an amazing action film and something that would reposition the Alien franchise in something smarter than the idiotic AvP flicks. I thought that after the decades, the expansion of the universe would also strive towards more discourse. But ah well, you can’t have everything I guess. I just feel that this would have been a great film had it featured more discourse.
Still, I loved this as an action movie and as a sci-fi flick generally. It doesn’t climb into my great films list, but it is definitely a must-see and a very good summer movie.