Prometheus ✮✮

Drool Still Rules!

by Glenn Lovell

There are messy chest-births, parasitic creatures oozing acid blood, and alien egg repositories. There’s even a smug, super-smart cyborg of questionable allegiance.

All that’s missing is Sigourney Weaver as Ripley … and a halfway decent storyline.

To call Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” a disappointment would be an understatement. Though handsomely packaged and, in spots, visually striking ‒ think Fellini in deep space ‒ Scott’s prequel to “Alien” is neither as single-minded nor as scary as the 1979 original, which, for all intents and purposes, was an Old Dark House chiller set aboard a lumbering space freighter.

In place of nail-gnawing suspense, Professor Scott doles out shop-worn existentialism, pondering ‒ yes, once again ‒ the Origin of Man. If this sounds at once pretentious and pedestrian, that’s because it is: Scott and screenwriters Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof (“Cowboys & Aliens”) are mining Kubrick territory, tracing our ancestry, not to God or the apes, but to extraterrestrials who back in the day seeded Earth with their DNA.

Little wonder we look longingly to the stars. We’re waiting for the return of our parents.

Of course Man has never been known for his patience. Rather than wait for the second coming, he rigs up the scientific exploratory vessel of the title and, in the year 2093, using cave-painting maps, charts a course for some distant planet. The answers, when they come, elicit a loud surround-sound yawn, just as they did when recycled for Brian De Palma’s “Mission to Mars.”

After an Earthbound prologue involving archeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), we cut to deep-space and fall into lockstep with the original “Alien” as 17 crew members, including Shaw and Holloway, awake from a two-year cryogenic catnap. David (Michael Fassbender), a supercilious cyborg who models himself after Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia,” seems to be running things. That is, until Vickers (Charlize Theron) arrives on the bridge and reminds everyone that this is a privately funded venture and she’s the corporate honcho. You eggheads are so much excess baggage!

On the mystery planet things go pretty much as expected, with advance scouts wandering the ribbed corridors of what appears to be the ruins of an ancient burial mound. Deep inside, they happen upon sights that will be familiar to every “Alien” fan, including a horseshoe-shaped spacecraft and row upon row of egg containers. This being a prequel, the crew members lack our hindsight and casually go about their business, touching and cozying up to everything that slithers and hisses into view. The word “contamination” seems to have been expunged from their flight manual.

Obviously facing a lull in his career ‒ waiting for the next “Blade Runner” or “Gladiator”? ‒ Scott has approached “Prometheus” as another presold entry in the “Alien” franchise. If it’s possible, this one is less suspenseful than the fourth installment, “Alien Resurrection,” co-starring a typecast Winona Ryder as the cyborg in their midst. A shame because this new installment boasts some excellent digital effects, especially during a do-it-yourself robotic C-section, and an impressive ensemble led by Rapace as the (laughably) resilient Shaw, Fassbender as the blond, steely-eyed company-bot, and Idris Elba as the pragmatic but good-natured captain. Once again, Theron chews and digests scenery, curling her lip and barking orders as if auditioning for another evil queen role.

An opening-day crowd was jolted to life during the gross-out moments, suggesting Scott and company, in their rush to go up market with an arty sci-fi entry, misjudged their target audience. “Alien” fans aren’t looking for answers to “the most meaningful questions asked by mankind,” as Shaw insists, they’re looking for something primal, like a cattle prod to the back of the neck. Just as things heat up and a couple of crew members look more like prime alien bait, we get this: “It’s like a scene from a holocaust painting.”

Enough with the art and mythological allusions. Bring on the phallic-shaped stowaways with the hydraulic dentures. Drool still rules!

PROMETHEUS ✮✮ With Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce. Directed by Ridley Scott; scripted by Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof. 124 min. Rated R (for violence, gruesome makeup effects)

22 Responses to “Prometheus ✮✮”

  1. Jim Says:

    Really boring movie. Another “Hugo,” if you will. People want to be entertained when they go see a movie–on this point alone Prometheus fails miserably.

    The worst part of this movie is that the story is so stupid and riddled with plotholes that it insults your intelligence and just kills your suspension of disbelief.

    The best science fiction movie in the past 3 years remains District 9–made on a small budget yet was superbly entertaining and thought-provoking. Even “Moon” by Duncan Jones (another sci-fi movie made on a small budget) kicks Prometheus’ ass bigtime.

  2. Raj RJ Says:

    nice movie but lot of loop holes…

  3. Mike Says:

    The worst review I have ever read. The entire point of the movie was lost on you. You should be fired, and never allowed to write on the internet again. Good day.

  4. Fredell Says:

    Prometheus is pre-digested, B-grade schlock.

  5. Wookie Johnson Says:

    This review is terrible. Ridley Scott never said it was an Alien movie. It is a movie that stands on its own. Glenn Lovell should be hanged in public for thinking Alien 4 is better than Prometheus. Prometheus is amazing. Hopefully this hack is never promoted to write a review again.

  6. Heidi Sue Says:

    I haven’t seen this movie yet, but am an Alien/Sci-Fi Fan. I thought your review was tasteless and I am skipping over it. Obviously, YOU are the one looking for self gratification taking references a Holocaust painting to fuel your ego. Get a grip! “Obviously facing a lull in his career ‒ waiting for the next “Blade Runner” or “Gladiator”? ‒ Scott has approached “Prometheus” as another presold entry in the “Alien” franchise.” Do you get a paycheck for this? Dude, maybe you would be a better critic for Soap Opera Digest.

    • pink Says:

      Lmao! I Should have stopped reading after your first sentence. Well I for one SAW this movie and the reviewer is correct and you will think so too when you finally go SEE it.

  7. John G. Says:

    Just saw this movie. This review is accurate, if a little too kind. This movie was absolutely terrible. Was there even a writer? Or is this meant to be a special effects reel that got accidentally released to the public as a feature film? There is no coherent story in this thing whether you attach it to the alien franchise or not. Characters seem to only exist to be part of the special effects. Is this how movies will be now? Is this what ADD kids and international markets want?

  8. Paul K. Says:

    John G. is absolutely correct. Reviewer is very soft on this movie. This movie is Grade A+ in effects, average B in most character play and NOTHING to be graded as a story. Almost whole movie was predictable from trailer and knowledge of Alien movie. But thats NOT the worst. There are so many logical incoherences, that it breaks even best effects and character play. And many cheap cliche included. I’m very disapointed and glad I’ve spent no money on the movie.

  9. N.T.F. Says:

    The movie was virtually stunning and quite entertaining (although I’m not sure the director would have appreciated my laughing out loud on several occasions because the scenes were just too over the top). Unfortunately, it left me with several questions. Oh well… I guess there’s going to be a sequel.

  10. S. Bryce Says:

    ““Alien” fans aren’t looking for answers to “the most meaningful questions asked by mankind,” as Shaw insists, they’re looking for something primal, like a cattle prod to the back of the neck.”

    SPOT ON. Excellent review.

  11. Edmund Charles Davis-Quinn Says:

    You are confusing “Alien” which was in many ways a slow film like “Prometheus” with James Cameron’s “Aliens” which is an action film. I enjoyed Prometheus a lot. My favorite film so far of 2012. ****

  12. George Says:

    Largely Disagree with this review. As a sci-fi fan and a lover of Ridley’s first film, I thoroughly appreciated not being spoon fed a typical Holywood ending. Being left to discuss themes at the wnd of the film, themes we all have thought about at one time or another felt very invigorating. The same feeling I get when watching or reading a great play (Shakespeare comes to mind). But I realize that there are many people who prefer not to think, prefer not to question and indeed would rather watch a bunch of explosions or aliens eating people for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Regarding lot holes, I felt there was only one which was the “architect” injestjng the alien matter at the films onset. Perhaps this will be answered in a sequel. It is unfortunate that people feel that they need not think while being entertained. But I remind myself, this is America…a bunch of illiterate worker bees.

  13. Greg Says:

    II was shocked at how bad this movie was, given the talent involved. The script was clunky and riddled with egregious lapses in logic (minutes after major abdominal surgery, a character is running, jumping, kicking, etc. A scientist puts his face up close to an obviously evil, cobra-like alien and talks baby-talk to it). It apes scenes from the other Alien movies like some rabid fanboy, but is sloppy and unfocused. Worst of all, I couldn’t have cared less about any of the characters. A total disappointment (except for the visuals).

  14. mydaed Says:

    Review was dead on if not overly nice. With the bad elderly makeup, 1970′s weaponry, and character decision making of a Bill and Ted excellent adventure, the audience was just waiting for the Ripley character knock off to be the last one standing and finally end the movie.

  15. Rene Says:

    As a huge science fiction fan of all genres, especially those involving astronomy/space – and a huge fan of Alien and Aliens – I was tripping excited to see this movie. I feel that Ridley Scott is a dependable director and this movie was going to be amongst his greatest achievements. The beginning of this movie is just beautiful – the opening credits are photographically gorgeous and the first scenes are captivating… Great start, however, once on the Prometheus ship, this movie takes a nose dive until it just burns up leaving me sitting there with my eyes rolling and, well, almost pissed off. I cant believe Ridley would create such a shitty film – and it is primarily his fault that this movie fails. The effects are stunning, really outstanding…. the problem I have with Prometheus is first, the lack of character development and 2nd the incredibly bad script. I could have cared less for any of the characters and was especially disappointed in Ridleys duplication of specifics taken from the Alien movie – i.e. the ship design and the robot. Come on, gimme something new and not so easily expected puh-leeeze! The script is horrible, almost every line uttered from the actors is eye rolling. The only things that are positive about this film are the effects, cinematography, director of photography and set design. I guess the acting is good but it is extremely diminished by the horrible lines forced. What a pisser!

  16. dzhivago Says:

    This film certainly wasn’t close to perfect (Alien was), but it was very good. In fact, it was one of the better sci fi films in a long time. To say there is no character development is ridiculous as Fassbender does a fantastic job with David. The gore is fine, I wish the script had been a bit more edgy, but we aren’t on the Nostromo with a bunch of working class miners. This time we are with nieve (rather than jaded) scientists. It’s just a very different film. It tries to tackle a really fun concept regarding human origins and I had a great time. Alien will always have its position as an art film with cultural and historical significance that simply can’t be matched. However, that doesn’t mean Prometheus is a bad film. It stands on its own despite its flaws.

    • Abraxas Says:

      Yes, Fassbender acting was good, but the character itself was poorly fleshed out and inconsistent. It behaved like a curious child, not like a logical android, especially of the kind you’d expect an early android would behave compared to androids in the far future.
      Good acting, yes; bad characters. And a crew totally undeserving of the biggest step of mankind. Instead of a group of people at the blink of absolute awe of the wonders to be discovered (and you don’t need to be a scientist to have such sensibility, although being a geologist and a biologist you would expect so), you have a bunch of thugs ready to bicker with each other even before the conflict starts.

  17. Barry Says:

    This website gives Battle LA three stars and Prometheus only two? Such a pathetic review – I will never return to this waste of cyber space website ever again. What a bunch of douchebags.

  18. Vanessa Says:

    The reviewer says: ““Alien” fans aren’t looking for answers to “the most meaningful questions asked by mankind,” as Shaw insists, they’re looking for something primal, like a cattle prod to the back of the neck”……well, thank goodness Ridley Scott is above pandering to that kind of simple-mindedness. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

  19. Fred Says:

    Review is spot on… saw it “as intended” in IMAX 3D. Fantastic visuals for the first hour or so… then the story couldn’t find its way out of a wet paper bag.

    Among its many plot flaws and poor character development, the worst offender for me was the junk science. I found the premise of intelligent design in the year 2093 quite disappointing… completely ignoring the evidence in the fossil record that shows a common thread to our ancestral past. The beauty of [good] science fiction is in its ability to make us think and theorize beyond our current level of comprehension, not to appeal to the mouth-breathing masses and undermine scientific knowledge.

    This is a sci-fi/horror flick, without the “sci” — just predictable fantasy-horror in space (albeit with great visuals), catering to the lowest common denominator and stunted by the religion/science debate in 2012. How disappointing that when these characters wake up in 2093, the dialogue is so banal and science (and scientists) are shown in such poor light… Sorry, Mr. Scott, you missed the mark on this one, but congratulations on the gravy train in ticket sales.

    What a disappointment…

  20. Rex Says:

    I was really excited to see Prometheus, but my excitement quickly turned to confusion and disappointment. There are too many plot holes to count…and the characters act like teenagers in B-grade slasher flick. Ridley Scott should have spent more on
    a good script writer and less on 3-D and CGI.
    Prometheus could have been great.

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