|Michael Fassbender is David, the robot -who could have been the main character and the movie would be better for it.|
*** out of ****
I am torn on my stance towards this movie. It's scary, gorgeous, and exciting. It's also clumsily written, pretentious, and unfocused. John Spaihts and Damon Lindelof wrote a screenplay that is incompetent and sometimes stupid. At the end there is almost nothing gained from the journey of any of it's characters. It's not that I wanted this film to have an ultimate answer. I just wish it hadn't wasted the further exploration of the given plot with distracting new plot elements introduced every ten minutes -most of which go nowhere. They seem to have the goal to make every last thing in the story a mystery. So there is no anchor. Nothing to go with. No one to trust except for an underdeveloped main character.
Ridley Scott has never struck me as a very personal director. He's great at establishing an atmosphere. In Alien and Blade Runner, that worked well because the personal side to the characters were kept at a distance. In his best movies, his characters are more like surrogates for the audience to experience the elaborate atmosphere through. In this film, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) is on a mission to look for the beings who created humanity on earth with a vague religious motivation. This gets us interested in her. But she will barely be developed any more than what we're given at the beginning. In Alien, we don't know anything personal about Ripley. Not even her first name. The reason why we like her, is because she seems to be the wisest person on board the ship. Horror movies suck when we watch characters make dumb decisions that advance the horror of the film. The only character in Prometheus who seems to be aware of what he is doing is the artificial life-form, David, wonderfully played by the great Michael Fassbender. I imagine a much better movie where not only he is the main character, but we are let in on his overall agenda no matter how sinister.
What's funny, is how my biggest worry about this movie before seeing it, was that Ridley Scott might have shown Rusty Director Syndrome. Sure he's continued to be ambitiously producing and directing giant movies, but he hasn't made a science-fiction film since 1982. The temptation to fall back on CGI as a solution to every problem was probably very strong. Thank goodness Scott is still a very hard-working director, no matter what the genre is. The sets, real landscapes, costumes, and everything wonderfully designed and sought out for this film's production is meticulously captured with perfectionism. If you choose to see the movie in 3D, which I recommend, you will see that 3D was part of this movie's design from day one. The CGI is heavy as well, but only used out of necessity and wonderfully executed. The score by Marc Streitenfeld brings a mythical weight to the movies tone, to remind us of the man-pursuing-god theme of the movie.
Tasha Robinson of The AV Club, points out in her review that Scott's return to the Alien universe shows maturity that George Lucas lacked whenever he re-approached Star Wars in any way.
It's tough to criticize a movie I want to love. It's conceptually something better than a sequel or prequel. It's purpose is to advance our knowledge of a universe established by another movie while giving us a fresh story that is filled with terrifyingly awesome scenes and it did all those things. There was one scene that had me squirming in my seat both times I saw it. This movie is flawed yet unforgettable. A must-see for geeks.
And even more spoilers hilariously conveyed...