Prometheus (2012) - Ridley Scott

Ocena recenzenta: 6/10

Plot - Two archaeologists discover a common pictograph depicting a 'star map' present in various unconnected cultures in mankind's past, pointing to evidence of some kind of extraterrestrial on Earth. Several years later they are part of the crew of an exploratory vessel, Prometheus, to travel to the destination that could hold the secrets of humanity's beginnings....

Alien was a great film, but it was also a pretty simple one. The crew of a mining vessel respond to a transmission on unkown origin, there's a hostile alien and it's basically a survival horror. What was great about it was the iconic designs by Giger, Ron Cobb and Chris Foss and the claustrophobic atmosphere Scott has able to create. Prometheus has decided to eschew all that for a grander landscape, a different tone, and larger more philosophical questions which Scott never quite manages to get under the same control. There are some superficial parallels to the structure of Alien; crew land on unknown planet, encounter alien structure, bring back some 'thing' and things go amok but it feels a more traditional space exploration tale. Exploring themes of religion, evolution, 'fatherhood' rather than the 'mother' issues of the first two Alien films, though we do get some [i]interesting[/i] imagery in both those regards. What we don't have, is the same tension or leanness running through it as in the first two films. It does have a surprisingly flat final third.

The visuals are at times very impressive, but personally I'd have preferred a more gritty aesthetic, rather than the sharper, cleaner look we get here. The 3D only really worked for me in the mapping sequence otherwise it was superfluous. From the cast Fassbender is the standout performer, his android David has the best characterisation though he does seem to veer to obvious villainy at times, which amazingly no one seems to pick up on :roll: Rapace is good, a distinct enough character from Ripley, Elba and Theron, however, have relatively little to do. However the cast is far too large and they get scant screen-time or opportunity for us to care about them one way or another, numerous 'red-shirts' appear to die and I have no idea who they were. There's also quite a bit of clunky interaction between them, which gives the impression of missing scenes or background. The alien design is also pretty uninspired; I understand they want to keep a link to Alien's designs but it just ended up looking pretty generic.

It's a decent sci-fi film but it does have quite a few problems with the characterisation, some ropey duologue at times and a pacing issue. It poses some interesting questions and looks at some interesting themes but it seems to take the most obvious and, well, boring answer to those it choses to, as well as leaving other questions up in the air. The real problem is the lacklustre script, from baffling character interactions to clunky dialogue, it's not great.

Scott talks about a sequel but if he does, hopefully he has a better script to work with next time.