Prometheus (2012) – Film Review
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Michael Fassbender
by Dan Berlinka
Given the weight of expectation, Ridley Scott’s much heralded revisiting of the Alien universe was almost bound to disappoint. The only real question being “How much?” Well, quite a lot as it turns out.
My heart sinks at the first sight of an other-worldly being in monastic robes. This sets the tone for all the pseudo-religious guff about faith that follows. The dialogue is spectacularly leaden throughout. Compare, for example, Yaphet Kotto and Harry Dean Stanton’s authentic-sounding griping about pay and conditions in Alien, with poor Sean Harris’ unbelievably clunky Prometheus opener: “I came here to make money… I’m not here to make friends.”
Clichés and inconsistencies abound. Even sometimes bordering on the unintentionally comical. The moment when a scientist removes the helmet of his spacesuit unfortunately recalls the same parody scene in Amazon Women on the Moon, which was made in the eighties and spoofing the fifties!
That’s not to say there aren’t signs of more imagination at work elsewhere. Although by the time we get to the “advance” flute power technology (seriously), it’s all become faintly ludicrous. The characters are thin at best. At worst they are downright irritating. None of this crew are anywhere near as convincing as their counterparts on the Nostromo. Though this is hardly the fault of a generally fine cast who sadly have very little to work with.
It’s a sign of how disengaged I feel that, by the end, only the professionalism of Charlize Theron’s corporate ice queen holds any appeal. That may just be me – I also think Paul Reiser got a bum deal in Aliens. If you’re a fan of the franchise you’ll still want to see it. But even from that point of view I find it frustrating that it dosn’t join up as seamlessly as it might
But overall, you’ll be much better off with a DVD or Blu-ray of the ground-breaking original.