Let’s go over a few quick reasons why I believe Prometheus is – er – a little bit rubbish.
Obviously this may contain a few spoilers:
- It’s Ridley Scott. We all expected better!
- It’s set in the “Alien” Universe. We all expected better!
- It’s written by the same guy who did Lost. It’s equally as infuriating and inconsistent. Interesting ideas go nowhere. The characters are un-memorable. The whole things breaks under any scrutiny. It smacks of movie by committee. This is by far the biggest reason why the film fails for me.
- It might be better, but frankly has the ability to do what the AvP films failed to do which is finally kill the Alien franchise off. Not cool! I didn’t go in with crazy or unrealistic expectations. Even so, the film managed to not just lower the bar for these, but bury it! I expect the box office to be great just because it’s Ridley Scott revisiting the Alien universe and there is some curiosity factor. I suspect this won’t be there for the inevitable sequel.
- I’m actually not that fussed about the Space Jockey story anyway. I liked its majestic mystery in the original. It should have remained a mystery!
- So it lacks mystery. Aside from “that scene” (don’t get me started on that by the way), it also lacks any tension as well. It’s loud and noisy though – if that counts?
- It seems to present itself as an original concept. It’s really not. And how I lament this! If this piece of guff has ruined the chances of Del-Toro doing “At the mountains of madness”, then frankly I’m going to hate this film even more.
- Who engineered the engineers? Oh, forget it – you’ll go mad!
- Fantastic character actors are wasted playing annoying roles. Most are forgetable (in particular Kate Dickie and Sean Harris both deserved better material). We get Guy Pearce doing an old guy impression under a bunch of prosthetic make-up. Crazzzy idea I know, but why not employ an older actor in the first place. For me, the most annoying stand-out is Rafe Spall. One minute he is running away because he is scared. The next, he’s trying to befriend an alien snake. No one would really do this if an evil-looking snake monster danced right in front of you! NO ONE! Only Rapace and Fassbender seem to emerge with any dignity (and even they are horribly inconsistent at times). The reason Fassbender keeps getting singled out for his performance is because he has the only half-decent role in the movie. And he’s because he is Michael Fassbender, which is of course cool also!
- The editing. Horrible! After a rather leisurely first part, the end part goes tonally mad. Did someone say – hey guys, were 90 minutes in and we better wrap up the movie quickly now? It sure felt like it! Either stay ponderous or go the Quantum of Solace route from the beginning. Actually, don’t do either of those…
- This one is perhaps subjective on my part. The score didn’t work for me. I love Alien scores, but this just didn’t fit (nice nod to Jerry’s work though). I get what they tried to do with it, but not for me. Feel free to discard this as the least problematic point I raise.
- Complete over exposure! It was hyped to within an inch of its life with adverts, trailers, magazines, online promos. In the trailer – did anyone not expect the whole “ground disappearing and donut thing crashing down whilst characters run away” not to be the finale? I was sat there waiting for scenes from the trailer to happen. Anyone remember the mystery of the original?
- I truly believe that the production cut of Alien 3 is better. Honestly I really do, even with its flaws, warts and all! Thematically that one is stable in its attempts to try something a bit different.
- I walked in knowing it wasn’t going to be Alien or Aliens. But wow, somehow they managed to make the only link to those films, the Xenomorph origins one of the low points of the film. Impressive!
- Did I mention we all expected better?
Meanwhile I point you to something Carlos Poon created as discovered on fellow Oxfordshire film fan and all-round good guy Ben Nicholson’s site (his review is here).
Where that stupid afterbirth thing at the end of Alien Resurrection or the Pred-Alien from AvP2 features is anyone’s guess! I hope Ben and I can collaborate on a giant ant invasion B-movie script which is far more satisfying!
Anyway, please feel free to argue, agree or discuss further below!