Skip to main content


Once you get over the idea that Prometheus is a prequel to Alien, the film improves immeasuarably. As long as you remain stuck on the notion that you're going to see the setup for how the 1979 film began, you are doomed to disappointment. Cast out your demons of longing, take Prometheus on its own terms, you'll enjoy the experience much, much better.

Prometheus tells the tale of a group of researches out looking for God. Well, they call Him "the Engineers" but the quest for God is explicit. It seems that Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and her main squeeze Charlie Holoway (Logan Marshall-Green, future victim of ickiness) believe they've found proof of Erich Von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods and convince a gazillionaire to fund a trillion dollar expedition to find where they came from, both humans and our creators. They go, they find, horror ensues.

Prometheus has all of the visual splendor you expect from a Ridley Scott film. It's a feast for the eyes, both in terms of production design and cinematography. The visual effects are, in a word, flawless. The soundtrack by Marc Streitenfeld is both a homage to Jerry Goldsmith's score for Alien and a beautifully original creation. The acting is uniformly good, with both Michael Fassbender (as the deliciously creepy android David) and Charlize Theron (as the deliciously cold corporate overseer of the expedition) being standouts.

This is not to damn Rapace with faint praise. She does an excellent job finding her inner Ripley and completely sells one particularly brutal scene. That said, in comparison Fassbender is almost transcendent in his role.


The film's major problem is a lack of focus. The cast is too large. You lose track of who is getting dissolved, eaten, impregnated, torn apart, etc. Because you can't keep track, you stop caring, focusing all of your energies on Rapace, Fassbender, and Theron. Fortunately, that mostly pays off.

The more serious lack of focus is the plot itself. There's just too much of it, too many Big Ideas, too many concepts, notions, speculations, and on and on. It's as though they said, "Oh, that's a great idea" and just threw it in, whether it could readily tie in with rest of the film or not. Some are really intriguing, but they're left flopping on the floor, begging for a chance to live.

Alas, no, not this time.

Which is not to say that Prometheus is a bad film. It's quite good, with moments of suspense and horror that rival anything you've seen. It's just far from the masterpiece you suspect it might have been.

Fear not, however, because it plays best as a reboot of the Alien franchise, providing enough fodder to feed a slew of sequels. I can't wait to see Prometheuses...


Popular posts from this blog

Not the Hero We Deserve, But the Hero We Need

The Dark Knight is the best film I’ve seen in years. Not just the best “superhero” film, but the best film of any type. It’s not perfect, not quite a masterpiece, but it’s flaws are, to me, tiny and overwhelmed by the time the film ends. While relatively bloodless, it is consistently brutal, not just in what it depicts but in the themes that drive it. TDK is a film for adults, please leave the kids at home.Let’s deal with those “flaws” first, the largest being the character Rachel Dawes. In Batman Begins, I blamed Katie Holmes. Her acting was weak, to say the least, which is regrettable in that who she is and what she says and does are important to the film. Critics agreed and either for that or other reasons, Katie was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who is a better actress. Yet here she’s weak, real weak. Maybe it’s the character, not the actress, which is frustrating because Rachel is a pivotal character. The film, at almost two and a half hours, might be a shade long. Having said t…

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

With its release on home video, we come to the unsurprising and yet still bitter disappointment that is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Unsurprising, because of a lousy director. Disappointing, because it should have been great. To explain further will involve light spoilers; I will avoid larger giveaways. In a galaxy far, far away, the Empire continues to consolidate its power after the fall of the Republic (see Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith). Toward that end, they are assembling a giant battle station, the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance plots a way of finding out what’s going on and perhaps, in the process, save their collective butts. Rebellious galivanting ensues. All of the elements necessary to craft a good story are here, yet none of them work. The blame lies almost exclusively at the feet of director Gareth Edwards. This is his third film (after Monsters and Godzilla) and his failings as a director stand out in each. The major problems with each film involve the peopl…

Conspiracy (2001)

The Holocaust remains an unfathomable atrocity, the unholy benchmark by which all such are measured. Stalin and Mao both make Hitler look like an amateur when it came to sheer body count, yet the Holocaust remains unique. It seems to boil down to two reasons. First, the Nazis were terrifying in their systematic approach to the slaughter of Jews, driven by their ideological belief that they were acting for the greater good of all mankind. And second, they hunted Jews in any land they conquered; the goal wasn't merely to "purify" Germany, but the world. Few films have captured these points as well as HBO's 2001 film, Conspiracy. On January 20, 1942, a group of senior officials of Nazi Germany met at a lovely house in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. The purpose of their meeting was to determine the "final solution" for the Jews. The Wannsee Conference developed what is referred to as the Wannsee Protocol. A single copy of the document remains. Conspiracy, drawi…