Sunday, June 17, 2012


If you don't want any spoilers, then there are two things you need to know about "Prometheus":

  1. It's a prequel, albeit an "indirect prequel".
  2. Prequels suck.

Now, in fairness, this second isn't an absolute rule - "X-Men: First Class" was actually very decent. But it holds far more often than not, to the extent that I'm even rather concerned for the fate of "The Hobbit" - sure, the books were published in the other order, but they sure seem to be prequel-ising it, by shoehorning in material and characters from LotR, imposing a similar feel on a very dissimilar tale, and so forth. We'll see, but I'm concerned.

Anyway, "Prometheus" is a very well-made film. It's visually stunning, and if you're determined to see it, go see it on the biggest screen you can. But it's also rubbish - the plot and the characters just aren't there. And I don't mean that they're "not there" in the way that they were pretty basic in "Avatar" (to say the least) - they're "not there" in that if you think about them at all then you'll realise how utterly stupid they are. "Avatar" holds together as a story, in addition to being visually stunning; "Prometheus" does not.

(It's the comparison between Sharapova and Kournikova - both tennis players who make/made more money from modelling than from tennis, but one of them can actually play as well.)


Okay, anyone who doesn't want spoilers should skip down to the next post at this stage.

Still here?

I think what I found most objectionable about the film was just how utterly stupid the characters were. When going into an unknown site on an alien planet, you do not leave the weapons behind, even if it is a "scientific expedition". Even if your atmospheric sensors say the air is breathable, you do not remove your helmet - there may well be airborne pathogens your suit cannot detect. No matter how creepy the dead body is, you do not split the party unnecessarily - now, instead of running around in the creepy dark, you're now running around in the creepy dark alone. To maintain quarantine procedures on the ship, do not open the airlock and then tell people they can't come on board - just tell them they can't come on board!

And it really didn't help that one of the characters, David, does something truly horrible (which is fine), but he does it for no apparent reason whatsoever. It would be fine if the company had a secret agenda to infect the crew and thus gain access to bioweapons (except, of course, that both "Alien" and "Aliens" did that plot). But that wasn't his plan. Basically, he infected the crew for shits and giggles. Good plan!

The problem is, once the characters are so utterly idiotic, it doesn't matter how scary the monsters are - at worst, if they wipe out the crew they're doing the gene pool a favour! Frankly, it's just a shame that there were any survivors at all!

(Speaking of survivors - clearly, the female doctor was supposed to be some sort of Ripley-esque character. But what makes Ripley one of the best female protagonists in sci-fi is that she is a strong, smart character. When presented with awful circumstances, she first survives them, and then in the sequel turns to face her fears head-on. The protagonist in "Prometheus" is only hurt by the comparison - I actually can't remember her name, and can't be bothered Googling it. I think it was Elizabeth something.)

Yeah, this film was 2 hours wasted. And it's a real shame - the trailers looked very promising, and there's clearly the germ of a really good film in amongst all the awfulness. I guess it's just one more film to add to the list of follow-ups they never made to "Aliens".

1 comment:

Cap'n Ric said...

Hang on. Let me get this straight. Am I to avoid Sharapova or Kournikova?