Friday, June 8, 2012

Prometheus (2012) - Review

Alien is a classic horror movie. Aliens is a classic action movie. Alien 3 is a frustratingly bad mess, and Alien: Resurrection is just hilarious. Prometheus is nothing like the first two, nor the last two. It sits somewhere in the middle, which is a bad place to be.  It's a needless quasi-prequel; imagining how the aliens came to be is actually much more interesting than how they actually came to be.

Let's start with the positives.  The visuals are gorgeous.  The planet that the movie takes place on is pretty breathtaking, and all the CGI looks great (except one extremely dubious basketball scene).  The problem is, the movie has no atmosphere or tension.  The original Alien is dark and foreboding; everything here is way too clean and polished.  It really sucks the mood right out of the movie, completely draining any personality it might have had.

The acting is a mixed bag.  On the one hand, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron are good in their roles, and are pretty much the only likeable characters in the movie.  The protagonist, however, played by Noomi Rapace, is incredibly dull and devoid of characterization.  Ripley, she ain't.  The rest are the typical horror movie cannon fodder, but at least the film has the sense to kill the characters in order from most annoying to least annoying.

All of this pales in comparison to the unnecessarily confusing and overwrought plot.  Damon Lindelof, one of the lead writers of Lost, co-wrote this movie, and it shows.  Imagine if almost no one in Lost was likeable, and it didn't have an interesting (albeit flawed) mythos to fall back on.  It does feel like one of the more confusing episodes of Lost, the only difference is that there's no real payoff.  The movie just kind of stops, completely content to leave the viewer without any sort of satisfying conclusion (or even motive for the characters' final big decision).  It may be a ploy to set up for a sequel, or it may just be awful writing.  At least it was better than the AvP movies...I guess.

No comments: