Saturday, June 9, 2012

Prometheus review

Today I'm going to review a movie. It is, perhaps, the most anticipated movie of 2012. So what does a movie have to do with Diablo 3? Well, for one thing we are all geeks and nerds and we love our SF. For another, I named my Demon Hunter after the movie. Third, you might thank me later (or not) for saving you some cash.

You see, I had high hopes for this movie. The trailers looked kick-ass and the pounding music in them hinted of unspeakable horrors. I almost didn't make it to the movies. I had read a bunch of reviews on various sites and one of them in particular gave me pause. In the end I thought "what the hell, maybe it isn't so bad". To a large extent, that review will mirror my own.


Let me get the good stuff out of the way first. The visuals are great. The landscape on the alien planet is beautiful, though it is too Earth-like. The planet is a satellite of a gas giant very much like our Saturn and I love how the large planet with its rings fills the sky.

The ship itself, the Prometheus, is a very cool machinery. Problem is, I very much doubt that humans will reach that level of technology in only 80 years. The alien machinery on the planet, likewise, is pretty good visually.

The sound and music are decent but they don't stand out. Where's the amazing sound from the trailers? Normally I'm not big on sound and music but I still vividly remember the beautiful music from The Lord of the Rings and Inception (though I consider the latter to be a mediocre movie).

Moving on to the frustrating bits, I'm sorry to say that the plot of Prometheus was idiotic and didn't make much sense. One of the things that bugged me most was that it makes a mockery of science in general and the scientific method in particular. The archaeologist couple are scientists? They are fucking morons! Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace) is only slightly better than her husband (boyfriend??) but it's hard to feel any empathy for her. When her boyfriend/husband died I must have sighed in relief.

Character development is extremely shallow, to the point where I didn't give a crap if any of them died. Many of the characters were there simply as props because they certainly didn't say or do much. The main character, Elizabeth Shaw, could have been very interesting and she was definitely inspired by Alien's Ripley but unfortunately she wasn't even remotely as good as Ripley.

Ironically, the characters I liked best were one of the "bad guys", Meredith Vickers (played by Charlize Theron) and the captain (played by Idris Elba). Sadly, they were vastly under-developed and both died at the end. I would have much preferred to see them in the sequel, as opposed to Elizabeth Shaw.

The third character I liked was, of course, the android David, played by Michael Fassbender. I already liked Michael Fassbender from other movies and he does an exceptional job in this role. Too bad the script is so piss-poor that his talents are essentially wasted. To give an example, David does a couple of things that seem idiotic and nonsensical.

As for thrills and fears, there wasn't a single moment that caused me (or anyone else in the theater) to jump from our seats. There's some gory stuff, as expected, but nothing you haven't seen already in the Alien series. Man, the original Alien was a hundred times scarier, compounded by the fact that the crew was isolated on that huge ship, with a terrifying monster running loose and no weapons to defend themselves. In Prometheus, not so much. Small, very high-tech ship, with well-lit interiors. Large crew with weapons (that didn't get a lot of use). The "scariest" action takes place outside the ship anyway so Prometheus itself doesn't even play a huge role in the plot.

So yeah, the plot sucked big time and a lot of acting talent was wasted. Nice work, Mr Ridley Scott!

Trivia: a family had brought their 4-year old to the movie. That's their problem, but I would definitely not recommend taking your kid to see Prometheus. Hell, even I, who am over 30, was asked by the ticket clerk if I'm 18. Luckily the kid didn't utter a sound during the movie.

If you really want to see this movie, I would suggest you wait until you can rent it for $1. I only paid $5 because I caught the matinee but even then, I felt like I was ripped off a little. See, that's the reason why I've become jaded about movies lately and why you'll catch me at the cinema only 1-2 times a year. Hollywood has been spewing a lot of garbage lately and very often the trailer is better than the actual movie. Bonus: the trailer is free!

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