Despite all the vitriolic fanboy scorn and savagery it was met with from those with unrealistic expectations of the Second Coming, Prometheus isn't the greatest crime against cinema of the 21st Century. Unfortunately it is very bland. On paper it has everything it needs to work: a decent story, solid production design, excellent special effects and some talented actors, yet all four elements largely underwhelm. The idea of a scifi retelling of the Prometheus myth is a good one, and the attempt to do something new with the Alien franchise admirable but the workmanlike screenplay is defiantly ordinary, Ridley Scott never managing to bring an interesting enough visual approach to hide its deficiencies the way he did with Alien while excellent special effects come as standard these day so can't add the kind of awe or sense of wonder they did in 1979. The characters are thinly drawn and the cast can't do much more than play the same note with them: Noomi Rapace smiles a lot because she doesn't know what's coming, Charlize Theron pays the cold corporate bitch while Michael Fassbender's android with a hidden agenda spends half the film quoting lines from Lawrence of Arabia in his best HAL 9000 voice, inadvertently just reminding you of more ambitious filmmaking.
It plods along from plot point A to plot point B to plot point C with the kind of professionalism that's rarely seasoned with imagination, the setpieces unfolding competently but without inspiration or directorial flourish, let alone excitement. Where Alien took a pulp story and treated it like a work of art (albeit an at times soporifically paced one), this takes a potentially more intriguing story and turns it into something almost anyone could have made. Unusually for anything Damon Lindelof had a hand in things pick up in the last half hour, but you don't really care much who'll live or die. For the faithful there are enough nods to the previous films to tick the requisite boxes (although there's one major continuity issue if this is indeed set on the same planet) while Marc Streitenfeld's score occasionally references Jerry Goldsmith's motifs from Alien but never does much to create an atmosphere of unease of its own: while it seems churlish to criticise one of the few recent scores to actually have a main theme, it's one that does seem to belong to a completely different film. Ultimately it's the kind of film where the only thing you'll probably remember about it a few days after seeing it is that you can't remember much about it aside from the mind-numbing stupidity of one astronaut who, when confronted by a King Cobra-like alien, tries to pet it because he thinks it's cute. Still, at least it makes a change from being chased through corridors by xenomorphs, and it could have been much worse - at one point the director of the listless 47 Ronin fantasy remake was scheduled to make it.
The 3D/2D Blu-ray Blu-ray release has a surfeit of extras, including a whole exclusive disc with a lengthy making of documentary, featurettes and trailers, while the standard edition makes do with deleted scenes (lengthy but largely disposable), audio commentaries and a few additional featurettes.
I'm a huge sci-fi fan and we've tended to be on the back burner for some time with decent new films of this genre.
So getting stuck into the film it's certainly not bad by any means, but it's confused and rather than take a clearly defined "real Alien" prequel it merely skirts around the edges unsure if it's a new film or a re-treading pre Alien.
There are undeniable nods to Alien, from the actual seemingly abandoned "Alien ship", right down to the Aliens themselves which are very close to the ones you find in the original Alien film (ie the long dead ones which were wiped out by the well known Aliens)...clearly intended on the Director's part. But it stops short of being the prequel it should have been, and leaves more questions than it does answers.
Visuals are excellent as you would expect from a modern sci-fi with the power of up to date computers and talented CGI artists you won't be left wanting here.
Cast is overall quite good with Michael Fassbender taking the part of the android "David" and probably the best performance of the film. Charlize Theron stunning as ever, and decent acting but probably not quite the role I would have picked for her. Noomi Rapace, not a well known actress but does quite well with what she has role wise (I would have picked Charlize for her role). Few other cast members really stand out though, but that's not the real issue of the movie.
If Avatar was all CGI and not much story (which in my view it was, great visuals but predictable corny story/plot) Prometheus is a bit of a let down in it's conclusion, it doesn't deal with the questions you want, it fails to be the full blown no messing around prequel it should be. The ending clearly leaves things open for sequels which one hopes explains things (can we smell cash cow?). But as a stand alone movie you will probably be a little let down in the overall package.
It's great to see Ridley Scott back in the Director's chair, I only wish he'd have had the guts to do a proper prequel rather than too many nods and winks to Alien, but never taking the risk to really push the genre a bit more. The plot is decent enough (but with some padding in places) despite the lack of conclusions (it's at least more interesting than Avatar) Scott is famed for the original (and probably the best) of the Alien series (only Alien and Aliens were worthy IMO), and Bladerunner another cult classic. This doesn't live up to either movie either in tension or story, or dare I say cast (both films had superb casts this one merely decent), despite the stunning visuals it can't match the moody atmosphere of Bladerunner, not build the tension as well as Alien managed.
Overall I can't say it's a 2 star movie (clearly it's not awful or bad), but it's not really up to more than an "ok" 3 stars overall. I did quite enjoy the film the first viewing, but felt little incentive to watch it again. I can't hide my disappointment with the ending which explains little and merely leaves the door open to numerous sequels.
Had Scott sat down and done a full blown no fluffing around "Alien Prequel" this could have worked very well, esp since there is much to work with material wise, but we want answers and a proper prequel not a half way house! As it is it's not likely to satisfy Alien fans (and I'm one of them), and it's not departed from that title enough to stand on it's own as a (non Alien prequel) Worth a watch no question, but this isn't going to find a place in the sci-fi classic collection.
on 1 September 2012
Don't be put off by the silly 1 star reviews on here because although prometheus isn't perfect and has flaws, it's still a magnificently crafted intelligent sci-fi film that challenges you to think. The problem was that the hype damaged this film, if you hype something for that long and that hard, then there will always be a degree of anti-climax, it's happened before and it'll happen again. People went in with ridiculous expectations and that's why there are so many stupid 1 or 2 star reviews - they never took it for what it was! to compare this,as some did on here, to "The phantom menace" is pathetic and childish to say the least.
The main problem with Prometheus is clearly it's unanswered questions, my opinion is that this will play better when the sequel arrives as it's really just act 1 of a 2 or 3 act play, that said there's still lots to enjoy here, namely Michael Fassbenders brilliant performance as David the Android, the exceptional design work,stunning fx and Naomi Rapace who is excellent in only her 2nd Hollywood role.
Fed up of silly robots smashing things up,superheroes and vacuous teen vampire movies? want sci fi but with a brain? then this movie is for you, sure it's not perfect but its miles better than most movies out there at the moment.
The writers intended this to be an "Alien" prequel by incorporating "Chariots of Gods" into the film, although some might question the timeline. They concentrated on creating a special effects film, putting science facts on the back burner. It's basically 60's science fiction with great special effects.
Earth has been visited by aliens who created us, and leave a calling card. Instead of traveling to a moon of Jupiter like in 2001, we travel to a distant "galactic system" to a moon of a planet that looks like Saturn. The year is 2091, the crew is placed in suspended animation for a trip that takes 3 years, nearest star is 4.5 light years away. Sirius is the star frequently indicated as that "ancient" alien connection. It is 11 light years away. The writers needed to do the math.
In this "2091: A Space Odyssey" tale, HAL is replaced by an android named David (Michael Fassbender) who like HAL has his own orders. When they get to the planet it turns into a special effects sci-fi horror as man tries to find his "creator." Noomi Rapace provides us the only decent human performance in this film. In fact she was so good at one point they called her character, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, "Noomi" in the film. They are either paying tribute to the famous Carrie Fischer "Star Wars" blooper, or their film editor is Ed Wood.
The dialogue was written in such a way that it lacked entertainment value. It needed to be lighter. The theme of creating life, so that it is not special, bogged down the film. In case you are unaware, the earliest common human language was believed to be a form of "click" language. I waited for Fassbender to start clicking when he spoke the alien language to show me the extensive research the writers did. It didn't happen.
Why is there always some idiot who takes off his helmet to test the air in these films? It's not the oxygen, its the foreign microbes, stupid!
Great movie to let the teens go see. Yes, I liked the film, but the writers were a let down. The good news is we can gut part of the voice track and do over the text and make it science fiction presentable without any re-shooting. Heck we might even add a joke or two... "These two earthlings, one an android, land on this alien planet and say, "Why did you create us?"....
SPOILER: And if you haven't figured it out from watching 3 movies...the reason why we were created is to generate a species genetically similar to the "creators" so they could test their biological weapons out on us, i.e. those alien critters.
Parental Guide: 1 f-bomb, 2 people in bed, near sex, no nudity, brief hot chicks. This would easy have been a 5 star movie had the writers did their homework. BTW, I just removed my own appendix, I am going out now to do some dirt biking.
I did enjoy the movie for what it offered. It is good entertainment with majestic imagery, mostly solid performances and absorbing music. Having said that, it is a movie not without its flaws. Some of them are hard to ignore.
>>>>>>>>> SPOILERS AHEAD <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
A SHIP OF FOOLS
One would think that when someone is making a trillion dollar investment and, to boost, having his own immortality ride on this expedition, he would make a more careful selection of his team. Not slap together whoever happened to be waiting for the bus at the corner, right? So who did we get here?
-- A captain that is more interested in getting in the pants of the owner's dominating daughter than what enters his ship or not.
-- An archeologist (intense Rapace was a excellent fit for the role) who supposedly has faith but that seems to exhaust itself on clinging to her cross. However, I am willing to give this some leeway as it is bound to come up in the sequel(s). I am guessing sacrifice and probably I am not alone in this.
-- A geologist/gun expert that is so grossly stereotyped and has such a bad temper (no one thought of running a personality screen BEFORE launch, right?) that his (telegraphed) death is actually a relief.
-- A Biologist who is eager to abandon all notion of evolution in favor of an alien designer at the drop of a penny. And his sole contribution, when faced with an alien creature that looked like a cobra (fear of snakes is innate, mind you), was to try to...pet it, while uttering "here, kitty-kitty-kitty"...
Of course, said..."kitty" eats his face off.
As a Biologist myself, I felt shame - and I have to ask: of all the millions of Biologists on Earth, why did they choose this hooded hippie again?
-- The owner's daughter who decides to follow her father in order to cause his death and finally inherit him. Would it not make more sense to simply wish him farewell and stay behind on Earth? There was no way this ship of idiots would ever return!
PLANET-SIZED PLOT HOLES
Suspension of disbelief is a requirement for almost every single movie and needed in a large dosage for every science fiction one. Nevertheless, there are some thorns in my side that would not let go.
-- A spaceship that is capable of traveling between stars, entering an alien atmosphere without burning up and and being set down like a helicopter wherever managed to catch the team's eye at the last moment? No one even thought of scouting and mapping out the planet first in order to have a landing plan, right?
-- Said magic spaceship can also accelerate like a sports car in Earth-like gravity at a 45 degrees angle (in order to ram the alien ship) and the captain manages to make it do this, not in an g-suit and strapped in a harness, but standing up in his loose-hanging veteran jacket.
-- The archeologists were pursuing their discovery whereas the rest of the rag-tag team probably needed the money. But why would ultra-rich Vicker's daughter go on a mission like this? Did she have a death wish to undertake such a dangerous (and haphazardly slapped together) mission?
-- Relativity is a heartless mistress. Gliese-86 is 35 light years away. That means that even at light-speed, it would take 70 years to get there and back. Did she leave no one she cared for behind? Because almost everyone she knew will be dead by the time she gets back.
-- Okay now, what WAS the plan? Meet with these alien creators so that Vickers can become immortal? Did they have any indication that this was even remotely possible? Then how would they know about the mutating alien and have a plan to bring it back in a host in stasis?
I saw it in 3D and, with the exception of the first 3 minutes, it was not worth the glasses hassle. An interesting prequel to the Alien Saga. I only wish they had given the script as much thought as they did the cinematography.
on 27 September 2015
Well this film might just be the biggest disappointment I have had for a long time. I suppose I should have expected the "dénouement", but I had not realised that Ridley Scott's bank account was so empty. The film promises much and delivers little, despite brilliant cinematography. It is no more than a rather expensively wrapped "prequel" (I hate that term) to the Aliens films and I didn't like those much either. A grand adventure with much potential, very little of which is realised.
on 18 October 2012
This is a great film in it's own right, even Ridley says it's not really a prequel, it's just that the idea for this film came about from elements of the first Alien film. Just watch it for what it is, a great piece of Sci-Fi.
Just a gripe now towards Amazon, Why don't you list the extras on any of your DVD / Blu Ray's? This would help many people in deciding which version of the disc to buy. Now originally I was going to buy the film which just came with a digital copy, this was around £15, or I could go for the copy which also had the 3D version, but not having a 3D TV I thought this would be a waste of time and an extra £5. But it wasn't until I read through a load of reviews where someone said to go for the 3D version as it had a film makers documentary which is 3.5 hours long, this I believe does not come with the other version. So I ordered the 3D version (which also has the normal 2D blu Ray version) which does indeed come with a 3.5 hour documentary, but that's not all, there is over 7 hours of bonus features on this disc, which are as follows:
Deleted scenes including alternate beginning and ending
making of Prometheus in depth documentary
The Peter weyland files
Weyland corp archive
Plus a Mobile app
So if you like your extras then the 3D version is the way to go
on 8 October 2012
To put it simply I'm going to review the actual content of the blu ray not the film, there are loads of film sites/magazines you can view if you want a review of the movie i'm going to talk about what seems to get ignored the actual product you are buying!
I will just note, I love the film and think it was way over hyped and this led to people thinking it was going to be the best movie ever so it could never live up to these high standards. Just please ignore all the 1 star reviews, this is certainly not a 1 star movie.
Prometheus is a good looking film on blu ray, it certainly not the best looking blu ray. Ironcally Alien (A film from the 1970's) looks better on Blu ray. There is some grain but there has been a lot worse in recent years.
The Blu ray really shines here. Firslty you get a proper itunes digital copy not a rubbish UV digtial copy. You can also chose to download a Windows Media Player file instead, if you don't use itunes, that will work on msot devices. There is a large handfull of deleted scenes each with a cool little explain of why they were cut and what they add to the film. There is also an alternative beginning and ending. The deleted scenes are separate from the movie and cannot be viewed as part of the film, in say a director's cut format.
There is also a strange feature called the "Weyland files" which gives a deeper view into the "Alien/Promethues Universe". there is also commentaries which are good but really only for Alien/Prometheus super fans, the causal viewer will be bored. Finally there is a really cool dual screen feature.
If you have an ipad you can download a free app on the app store (just search prometheus and you will find it), then you sync the app to you blu ray player (you need a BD live enabled player for this) and then as you watch the movie extra features and facts will come up on your ipad at points during the film. It is an amazing feature that I hope to see more of, I noted in Dutch app store there were dual screen apps for the Avengers and Spider Man, whilst they dont work in the UK hopefully this shows that film companies are going to start using this feature more often. Also note the app at the time of wrtting was only avalaible on iPad but I have been informed that it is now available on other app stores as well.
So far this year it has been a disapointing year for Blu ray releases most have been pretty poor, The Avengers and The Hunger Games were a little lacking but Prometheus bucks this trend and gives a truly great bly ray package well worth your money and time.
on 4 June 2015
For those of you looking for the thrills, claustrophobia and tension of, for example, the second Alien film, stay away. For those of you looking for the epic race to find out about ancient elder civilizations, stay away. There are one or 2 scenes worth watching in this film, but overall you may forget this pretty quickly :)
This is a good SF film, with concepts, mysteries, and strong action. However, after so much expectation, it disappoints. The story takes place many years before Alien, when a privately funded group makes an exploratory inter-stellar voyage to investigate some intriguing archaeological clues. They are on the track of the "engineers", an exemplar of whom died mysteriously at the beginning of the film and whose whereabouts were hinted at in cave paintings found all over the world by Shaw and her partner, Charlie. What they discover is not what they expect, to say the least. Also, there are many secret agendas revealed, adding nuance. In the end, as a survivor, Shaw continues her quest.
Now, this is intriguing stuff, full of possibility. Unfortunately, the execution of the film, its uneven acting, and problems with the plot combine to make a mediocre viewing experience. I do not want to give away the plot details, but some may slip through.
First, the quality of the acting was a constant problem. While Rapace was great in Dragon Tatoo, she is supposed to be English but can't get the accent consistently. While she does a good job with the complexity of her character's motivations, her intimate relationship with Charlie (who is terribly acted by Logan and never cogent as a character) makes little sense. The other crew members were clearly fodder for destruction and the few with any character seemed rushed in their actions and motivations. Theron is an exception to this, but David the android is perhaps the best - he is clearly not human, has inscrutable motives and emotions that are consistent, and is somehow always menacingly creepy. Alas, the character chemistry doesn't quite hang together.
Second, the explanation for the monsters was disappointing, indeed much of the logic of the film is wobbly. While the engineers were very well done as beings of superior intelligence and seemingly incomprehensible motives, their behavior and what they were doing were unconvincing to me. In addition, the resulting monstrosities were not conceived with much care, but just seemed hideous and violent, without interesting constraints and clear powers. The development of the monsters appears too magical: how could they develop so quickly, live so long and be so overwhelmingly strong, without a source of energy or food? Take, for example, Shaw's aborted monster: it continues to grow to monstrous proportions in the med lab with nothing but itself. Even worse, after Shaw undergoes major surgery, she just gets stapled up, and then with some futuristic pain killers is fine running around and fighting baddies. How could she do so without hemorrhaging? Also, the way that David deciphers the alien language and writing and instrument panels smacks me as contrived. As others have pointed out, the behavior of the scientists is also incomprehensible: if one of them saw an alien worm slithering out of the cornea of one of his eyes - and experiencing no pain? - would he not quarantine himself or bring it to someone's attention? Would the biologist not fear a snake-like creature rising out of some primordial muck? Would the scientists not fear infection in an unknown atmosphere, but instead instantly take their helmets off? These things are so ridiculous that they strain all credibility.
Third, the effects were not entirely convincing. This is a high budget film, but much of it seemed clunky, such as the creature that drags itself to the ship and offs, like, half the crew in a few instants - it looks like a flailing rubber doll. Or take a creature that emerges from a character's stomach - it comes out bigger than it could have been. I did enjoy the alien technology, and the engineers themselves - gigantic beings of super strength and superior minds - are splendidly mesmerizing. Again, this speaks to the unevenness of the film, where much of it feels rushed and ill conceived.
Anyway, I recommend this for fans of the series. But hopefully better is yet to come. It grows on you, but that is because I have learned to ignore the flaws.