Considering its origins Prometheus had a lot to live up to. I know there are fans of the film but I think it’s fair to say there has been a general feeling of disappointment. Coming to the barbecue a little late I was well aware of this, so went in with low expectations. Even then, my experience of it was (ironically for a 3D film) a little ahem, flat.
A disparate team of experts travels to the far reaches of space aboard the Prometheus seeking out the origins of life only to find something altogether more sinister.
There is much to admire about the film. It’s a veritable feast for the eyes. The hardware is well designed. The suits are strikingly original and the eponymous Prometheus is one badass ship. It must be so hard to come up with anything new in terms of sci-fi design, but those involved certainly achieved it. There are some space buggies that are a bit straight-to-video-eighties-sci-fi but other than that the production design really is exquisite. The sets, including that giant head you’ll have seen on the posters, do feel genuinely alien. There are some very beautiful visuals which make it quite watchable but boy, is it dull.
Ridley Scott has cast some good actors but they wrestle with paper thin characterisation and weak dialogue, giving us little sense of who anyone really is. Idris Elba is the gruff no nonsense captain of the ship we are given no reason to believe in or care about. Noomi Rapace just seems uncomfortable in the role. In an attempt at a
accent (I think), she mangles the dialogue lacking the commitment to enunciate
any of the right consonants. Or, for that matter any of the right vowels. Guy
Pearce appears as an ancient Peter Weyland in ridiculous heavy prosthetics
which prompted me to think, “that’s Guy Pearce in ridiculous heavy prosthetics”.
Charlize Theron isn’t actually bad. She’s appropriately glacial in yet another
Queen Bitch role but seen early on doing some very crap press-ups (I
imagine we are supposed to be impressed by) made me long for someone as tough
as Vasquez. Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Logan Marshall-Green, and Benedict Wong also
feature in this bland and faintly annoying cast of characters and frankly, I wanted
them all to die. That is, except for one. Oddly, it is the non-human who is the
most fascinating. Michael Fassbender adds yet another sensational performance
to his CV. As the ‘synthetic’, David he steals the show.
As much as I disliked the film, you gotta hand it to the film-makers for posing some big questions and attempting something a lot more intelligent than your average summer sci-fi flick. For; this, for the sheer spectacle, and for David, Prometheus scrapes three stars.