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|Index||2159 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Visually flawless but a terrible script ruins it. This review I read on
Prometheus website is great and sums it all up...
In the roughly 10 hours since I walked out of the theater last night, my mind has continued to process just how awful this movie is. It's unbelievably bad - everything you've read is true.
The flute. The white, squishy buttons on the Engineers' control deck. The captain intuiting that the planet is not the Engineers' home planet but rather the place they developed their weapons of mass destruction - which of course begs the question of why the Engineers were instructing ancient civilizations as to how to reach not their home planet, but some remote place where they made weapons of mass destruction, Vickers and Janek strangely going off to have a quickie in the midst of what would have been the biggest discovery ever made by man and with two crew members stranded inside the temple - which in turn was inside a huge dust/electric storm, the very strange and ineffective scene where Vickers reveals that Weyland is her father - at which point no one cared, Vickers and Shaw running for hundreds of yards to try to escape the rolling Derelict ship when it was painfully obvious that all they needed to do was run a few yards to either side - in fact when Shaw trips, all she does is roll about three times and she is out from the path of the Derelict (which then stops and tips over on her but still), the stupid scene with the Engineer's head where they reanimate it and it explodes - which didn't seem to have any effect on anything in the movie at all, the list goes on and on and on. It's just an embarrassingly bad movie.
But I don't blame Lindelof. I place the blame for Prometheus squarely with Ridley Scott. Scott chose Lindelof as the writer. Scott surely saw or could have seen the complete train wreck this film was going to be very early on in the shooting process and could have stopped it. To think that Scott waited 30+ years to revisit his masterpiece and then did this to it is almost unthinkable. But it happened. So it's unforgivable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For over 30 years, I've believed that no worse movie could be made than 'Can't Stop the Music'. I was wrong. And it breaks my 'Alien'-loving heart. WHO WROTE THIS GARBAGE, and what were they smoking? Listen up: I'm perfectly ready to suspend disbelief, esp. when it comes to sci-fi. I was also not wanting or expecting another 'Alien', as superb as it was. But this thing is, to quote Dorothy Parker, not just bad. This is fancy. A huge, huge problem is borrowing 'Alien' motifs when they do not at all apply. For instance, the crew of motley, disgruntled folks of Prometheus. Such a crew was perfect for a mining ship coming back from a dull and long job; when it's mankind's first, trillion-dollar search for life in the universe, a team seemingly pulled out of a Hooter's Happy Hour seems inappropriate. Similarly, we get the 'Alien' captain, here bad-ass but still just out to earn a paycheck. On THIS mission? It's as though Scott so valued these elements, he had to re-use them even when they utterly do not belong. Then. There's the helmets-off idiocy on the alien moon, prompted by a computer reading that the air is OK, nicely ignoring that maybe scientists would nonetheless by wary in so unknown an environment/atmosphere. There's the wretched cliché of the ancient trillionaire. There's about an hour of exposition featuring the evil gay robot who, after plainly sabotaging the womb of Dr. Shaw, is buddied up to by her not long after. Best of all are the oddly redneck two scientists, stranded, and a coaxing of an alien cobra-like creature as though it were a kitten. This is so ghastly, I felt sorry for the actor, as I did for the geologist, setting foot on a new moon and angry that he's expected to take any interest in the proceedings. This goes to an even larger flaw, in that, aside from a few, requisite gasps, everyone is reacting to this extraordinary find as though they stumbled into a funky part of town. To that end, and more horrifying than the scientist-kitten, is Holloway's pouty, drunken angst because, gee, there weren't no daddy aliens to explain why man exists. He has found an incredible alien civilization and proof of humanoid life but, like a true scientist, he can't get past not getting his boyish dream fulfilled. Also; he awakes to discover a creeping worm in his freaking eye, tells no one, and simply goes off on the day's mission? Who wrote this garbage? Last issue: there is NO momentum. There is no tension or suspense. There isn't even a second- rate 'Alien' prequel, because this thing would have to work real hard to be second-rate.
I have to agree with the rest of the reviewers who noted the visual
impact of Prometheus. Truly it's a beautiful, eye-popping movie to
watch. The scenery is just immense and the CGI work on the backgrounds
- the terrain, ship, and even some of the creatures - is outstanding.
However, as a movie I left feeling let down. In thinking about it, my
disappointment stems from three main problems:
1) Character development (or lack thereof rather). Of the 17 characters in the movie - yep...SEVENTEEN folks to keep track of - I really felt that I only got to know (and consequently cared about) three. Noomi Rapace's Dr. Elizabeth Shaw is pretty much the focal point of the movie and is probably on screen 60 - 70 percent of the time. Thus, as an viewer I got to know her and mostly care about her as a character. Similarly, Michael Fassbender's David is on screen about the same amount of time and I really got a sense of him and his perspective on things. While he may or may not be a character the audience cares about, you definitely get to know him. And I must admit, Fassbender's performance was great as far as I'm concerned. He was really enjoyable to watch. Lastly there was Charlize Theron's Meredith Vickers is provided ample screen time, to say nothing of key character development scenes to get to know her. Further, these three characters actually behave logically for their characters, so it seems that their development was thought out. Of the other 14 characters, I can remember 4 of their names, but they were given so little development and any motivation for their presence that I just didn't care about them. I was thinking about this in contrast to the 7 characters in the movie Alien - of which Prometheus is loosely related - and even after some 40 years I can remember each and every character from that movie - their names, their roles, their personalities, etc. I cared about those characters, and when they had problems or died, the movie had impact. In Prometheus, that impact was not there for me. Forget any problems with alien lifeforms or alien planet weather or things like that - I didn't even really get on board with why they were going to an alien world to begin with.
2 Which brings me to a related issue - Character motivation. I always love the comedic play on the clichéd actor's angsty "yeah, but what's my character's motivation?", but the fact is decent writers and directors making decent movies usually do provide actors with some guidance in this area so said actors can...you know...indicate to us, the audience, that their characters do, in fact, care about what they are doing. Again, I got that from Dr. Shaw, David, and Vickers, and to good extent Dr. Shaw's Partner Dr. Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) and some from Peter Wayland (Guy Pierce). The one person I was really expecting this from was the ship Captain Janek (Idris Elba), but all I got was 'eh...I fly the damn ship'. Heck...I kind of thought that maybe I'd see some enthusiasm and wonder from the two other "scientists" - geologist Fifield and biologist Millburn, but not so much. The scare quotes around scientist, BTW, is to denote that as far as their presence and actions went, they really appeared to be scientists-in-title only.
3) Which brings to the last point - story scope. Good stories, at least to me, focus on some particular plot element. In most cases, really good stories - and by association really good movies - can be boiled down to one sentence synopses. Alien is pretty much "alien life form gets on a ship and crew find they are in jeopardy if they don't get it off". I can't come up with one for Prometheus. I really feel it's scope was way too large for the story. As others have noted, this was a movie made specifically to be part of a larger framework - at least a sequel and probably a trilogy. That said, I felt overwhelmed by the number of elements that the movie was trying to get across. The meaning of life, immortality, the punishment by the gods, the meaning of being human, evolution vs creation, religion vs science, do androids dream of electronic sheep, the desire to create and destroy...it's all packed in there. And it's tough to unravel a story from all those threads, let along care about said story with all that going on. Basically I just found it too cluttered with all these messages and by the time the alien life forms show up, it's hard to fit them into the context.
I will throw in one other note. Not so much a criticism, but just a let down based on expectation. I really thought this was supposed to be a scary movie and it really wasn't for me. And I mean at all. It certainly had some disturbing scenes and some gore, but there was no "haunted-house" spook factor. No startles what-so-ever as far as I'm concerned. Alien, Aliens, Alien Cubed, and Alien: Resurrection and even the Alien vs Predator movies all made attempts to have jack-the-box startling moments - admittedly some more successfully than others - so I was expecting that kind of scare tactic in Prometheus. Not so much. There were some decent gruesome moments, but overall this was more an adventure movie than a horror-scary movie for me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ridley Scott's Alien is my all time favorite movie so I've been
anticipating Prometheus ever since the prequel was announced. Since I
couldn't resist the wait, I saw it early this morning the day of its
official release in my country.
First of all, the trailers showed it, the cinematography is fantastic. Ridley Scott nailed that aspect like a genuine master. The entire movie is basically a succession of grandiose shots which surely will have other directors blush in shame. The cinematography is accompanied by great sets and fantastic special effects for which Prometheus should receive a bunch a nominations.
The acting is flawless, except perhaps for a few minor characters. Special praise goes to Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron whose characters are also extremely well written and convincing. Noomi especially deserves applause for her flawless acting. There are a good number of scenes where her character is understandably very disturbed and terrified, and Noomi's acting is so genuine I wanted to scream out "just throw her a damn Oscar already!". One refreshing aspect of her character is that, contrary to what one might expect, she's not like Ripley from Alien. Ripley was from the start a pretty strong woman, close to a tomboy. Noomi's character, Elizabeth Shaw, is much more impulsive, insecure and feminine. She grows stronger as her situation becomes desperate, but she remains endearing and delicate enough that the extremely shocking things she must endure are genuinely heartbreaking.
The plot for Prometheus is where I have more reservations. The attempt at making some characters seem like scientists, including Noomi's character, made me cringe at times. It's typical Hollywood scientists, by that I mean not very believable. How a teenager would imagine science-speak to be like. The build up for the climax was somewhat disappointing in comparison to the first two Alien films, and to me lacked a distinct atmosphere so essential for a horror film. The action and horror scenes were genuinely good and exciting, sometimes shocking, however I wasn't scared any time, but perhaps I've just grown insensitized to horror by now. I'll also add that if you thought the classic Alien life cycle (queen lays egg, which hatches facehugger, which plants embryo in host, which grows into a xenomorph) was a stretch, wait till you see what Prometheus has to offer, which I find makes little sense and I'll probably be wondering more about that than anything else. Obviously, the creatures in Prometheus are some forms of ancestral or primitive types which may evolve into what we know from the Alien franchise. Regardless, Prometheus offers some very pleasing surprises throughout, and it's great to discover this universe which will surely become a franchise. Ridley Scott wished it, and the end of the movie shamelessly confirms it, to the point that one could expect a "To be continued..." before the credits. Also many questions remain painfully unanswered, which is somewhat cheap.
Anyway, Prometheus remains an impressive watch and paves the way to what could be a grand new mythology. It doesn't match the first two Alien films in quality, and one shouldn't expect it to or he will be sorely disappointed. I will probably go see Prometheus again, because the first time was somewhat overwhelming. I wouldn't be surprised if Prometheus is the kind of film which gets better after a few viewings. I'll add that the ending of Prometheus announces an epic sequel, probably much better, so I'm pretty hopeful for one to happen.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So, I finally saw Prometheus last night, and finally decided to
register on IMDb to show my disgust at such an insult to the Alien
What have I got to say that hasn't already been covered? Well, they stole characters and crappy dialogue from AVP for a start. The script was poor and I couldn't keep my attention at the so called climax. It showed nothing of the origins of Alien, and they made the space jockey(something I always assumed was beyond human comprehension from the darkest, most disturbed part of the universe) into a limp copy of the tall blue guys from Avatar, albeit after a heavy dose of chemotherapy, and without the blue colouring. Michael Fassbender's performance as the android is toted as Oscar winning good, but I would rate it at just above average at best. None of the characters had any motives for what they did. The whole thing made no sense. It was that poor I don't even consider it canon to the Alien films at all. The cgi, what there was of it, was OK. But I don't know where they spent a hundred and fifty million quid! It certainly wasn't on the two low budget sets. And where was the huge black head from the posters and the trailers?
The continuity and story was slapdash at best. No consistency at all. And the plot holes were really as bad as I read. There was no gore, and not one moment of tension or horror. Even when Shaw, lead role, was having her guts opened up to give birth to a giant squid! Wtf? I had low expectations of this film but even they were not met. They stole scenes from all the other Alien movies. Yet Ridley said he discounted alien 3 and 4. So why the f*** would he use scenes from them.
The whole thing was a very poor cliché of Alien. And I mean poor. Oh, the giant squid faced hugged a jockey, and the jockey birthed an Alien. Almost exactly the same as the Alien we have seen in all the other films. So basically, it was two hours of pap, that lead up to a xeno birth.
The best I can describe this film has is a quasi parallel semi prequel.
It really is that bad. It killed any ferocity and malice the Alien creatures had. So if this is Ridleys official word on where the xeno came from, they came from humans! Wtf?
This is how bad it was. There were 17 crew member's. It showed the deaths of a few, but the rest of them just vanished, lol. Seriously. No account was given to what happened to them. One scene they were there, the next they had vanished?...
The only good thing I can say about it is that the acting was OK. Though in some scenes, it was so cheesy I felt like I was watching critters 4 or something, lol.
So, in closing, if you are a fan of the Alien movies, and don't want your precious memories of it sullied, please avoid this film like the plague, It adds nothing to the mythos, and is poorly executed. It is obvious, from the news today that it did well at the box office here, so expect countless sequels which will finish off the Alien franchise for sure.
Risley, its time you retired. Before you destroy any more of your once great work
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'd have loved this film when I was fifteen. I would have soaked it up
unquestioningly and raved about the visuals and the space craft and the
settings and the frights. Because when you're fifteen that's all that's
Now that I'm old and crotchety, I look for a little bit more. Not an awful lot, it has to be said, but a little bit. And that little bit is a coherent plot. Sadly, Prometheus falls well short.
You can't fault the movie for sets and visual effects and score and sound - all of that is just as you'd expect for $200 million. There's nothing wrong with the acting either, although I imagine a lot of people would agree that Michael Fassbender's android David steals every scene he's in. Where this movie ultimately disintegrates is in the unravelling of the plot, quite literally in this case.
It just doesn't make any sense.
The principal narrative drive of the movie is various ancient human civilisations leaving engravings and cave paintings of the same constellation suggesting that our origins are extra-terrestrial. Humanity sends a ship out there to investigate. With me so far? This is plausible enough in the world of sci-fi, right up to the point where we find out that the location of these star-maps (presumably provided by the 'engineers' themselves, as referred to in the movie), is not their home planet or even a welcome sign but is in fact their equivalent of a weapons manufacturing plant that has been set up on a remote planet.
Eh? If you try hard enough, you could argue a case for this: perhaps the most obvious being that if our civilisation ever became advanced enough to follow the star-map and find this place, that we'd do ourselves in in the process. If that's the case, then WHY bother setting up our civilisation in the first place? We then find in the climactic third of the movie that these engineers were just about to set off in a ship BACK to earth to deliver lots of their nasty bio-goo to kill us all off or transform us into genetic weapons or whatever it does (again, left a bit nebulous in the movie), but their plan went pear-shaped and they never got off the ground.
Why they want to kill us now after taking all the time to seed the planet, no one seems to know. Am I missing something really obvious, here? There's lots of other strange things like the squid-creature that Rapace's character has removed from her womb and why a strange penguin-goblin thing is born from one of the engineers at the very end of the movie. If their genetic blue-print is almost identical to ours (again as suggested earlier in the movie), wouldn't a more typical Geiger alien be the product? Who knows...
Ultimately, a movie that looks and sounds great but just leaves the audience (or at least ME) very confused and ultimately wondering what just happened.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a huge sci-fi fan and also an admirer of Scott's work, but I'm
probably not going to watch a movie solely because it was directed by
him anymore. This was probably one of the worst movies I've seen in the
past few years, including a few that were made for TV.
The screenplay seems to have been written by a 13 year old school kid. The plot has so many holes it's ridiculous, I was annoyed and deviated from the movie to the plot holes less than 10 minutes into the watching it, which is saying something. Here are some of the highlights that weren't mentioned in the reviews I've read:
1. It's a trillion dollar mission and basically no one in the crew knows what the hell they're doing there until after they reach their destination.
2. As soon as the crew gets out of their suspended animation chambers, one of the members starts showing an attitude towards mission command during their first briefing. Not in a million years would anyone with a dysfunctional personality be allowed in the most trivial space mission, let alone an important one.
3. It's important to decontaminate a specimens collected from the surface of the planet while in the lab, but the "scientists" don't wear their helmets while collecting it making the decontamination in the lab completely useless.
4. The reasons / motivations for basically anything in the movie are not plausible or believable leading to deep annoyance and boredom during the torture that is watching this movie.
5. The characters have either idiotic or psychotic personalities, some times both. Even in real life astronauts are usually extremely intelligent and able to cope with and keep their cool under stressful situations.
6. The plot development is painfully slow and a lot of the time doesn't make enough sense to be sufficiently believable that the spectator can get into it and forget about the plot holes.
My advice is, honestly, stay away from this movie at all cost. I know a lot of people won't be able to, and out of curiosity will watch this monstrosity anyway. But remember: you have been warned.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It takes a lot to tempt me into the cinema, but the prospect of a
prequel to Alien, directed by Ridley Scott himself, seemed too good to
Dear oh dear, how mistaken I was.
My forebodings began when the ship's crew came out of hibernation, and I saw what a bunch of totally unbelievable and totally clichéd characters were being foisted on an unsuspecting audience. Take Fifield, for example. I can well imagine those planning this trillion-dollar mission saying to one another "we're going to study the rock strata of an alien world in a distant star system, so we'll need the best geologist alive today. So let's look for some bloke with facial tattoos and a Jedward haircut, who speaks in a dopey mockney accent, dresses like a tramp, is about as bright as a fifteen-watt light-bulb and is afraid of his own shadow. That should just about fill the bill".
The other characters are no better - for the most part, they're beyond risible. And the main female character - the one the audience is clearly supposed to identify with more than any of the others - has all the charisma of a soggy rice pudding. No-one expects another Sigourney Weaver - you don't get that lucky twice - but surely, Ridley Scott could have found an actress who could have stirred even a smidgen of empathy?
And if the characters themselves are tedious and unconvincing, their antics are often laughable - I sometimes felt I was looking at a bad remake of a Laurel And Hardy film.
And just try watching the scene near the end where two of the crew are being chased by a rolling alien spaceship without thinking of Wile E Coyote in a Roadrunner cartoon.
Is this film made by the same person who gave us Alien? I just refuse to believe it.
A film needs only do a few things: have characters who you can believe
in (that is, the human ones behave like humans would); have a plot
which makes sense as it unfolds (even if you have to experience it
backwards, or in layers - think of two famous Christopher Nolan films);
have pacing which makes it enjoyable to experience.
Prometheus does none of these. The humans, when they face a crisis or something unknown, don't behave as you'd expect people to do - warily and with some sense of self-preservation. They're either ridiculously trusting, or they just plow in without reflection - has none of them ever seen a horror movie, even in this far-off future? They make John Hurt's character in the original Alien look like a model of rectitude and careful scientific approach.
The characters are poorly developed: there are too many, and you don't get an idea of who they are, what they want or what their motivations are. Again, contrast with the original Alien, where the (small) crew all have clearly identified personalities, aims, wants, interactions, etc.
The plot is insensible; literally it numbs you. Not every point needs make sense as you watch, but you shouldn't be saying "wait, what? That makes no sense" five minutes after any key scene.
The science is total rubbish. If you've any knowledge of biology or evolution, you won't enjoy this; scene after scene will be like nails scraping down the blackboard of your brain.
And finally, the pacing is lousy. There's no point where you feel that the characters are trying to pool their knowledge, or that they're trying to get control of what's happening. Instead, it tries to throw things at you all over the place in order to shock. (Again, compare to the original Alien, where the characters continually get together to try to figure out what to do next as each plan falls apart.) When things happen relentlessly but you don't understand why, you're just left bemused.
Compare the pacing and plot in Ridley Scott's Gladiator (where you have fights, and then the pauses in between during which the plot develops, and which explain the importance of each coming fight) and you realise what it looks like when done well.
This film has pulled in megabucks, partly through a marketing splurge which drew lots of people in - I know it did me (I watched it in 3D Imax).
However, within about half an hour I was ready to walk out; I only stayed because I nursed some faint belief that it would get better, or redeem itself. It didn't. Save yourself. Rent Alien.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***
Most of what I have to say about this film has already been covered by numerous reviewers here already. However I will still do this review if for no other reason than to do my bit to try to rectify the (currently) appallingly high rating of 7.7 on here. This film doesn't deserve such a high rating.
Like many others here I am a huge fan of the first Alien movie (and Jim Cameron's superb sequel), so when I heard that Ridley Scott himself was returning to the Alien universe to shoot a prequel (of sorts) I was suitably excited and drooling with anticipation. I was even pleased when I heard the new movie wasn't even going to include the Alien as we know it, as in my opinion this actually serves to expand the Alien universe far better than just rehashing the original movie(s) over and over again.
I could merrily talk about the many failings of the lofty and yet simplistic creationist basic plot, the nonsensical cod-scientific rubbish about DNA, the instant healing after the ridiculous caesarean section performed on Dr Shaw, but I won't. And the reason I won't is because at the end of the day, this is sci-fi and while most sane people would PREFER things to make at least a little sense, the sci-fi genre is one where you can get away with utter nonsense slightly more than most.
Instead of that, I'll concentrate on the human elements of the movie, and it is here that this film really looks like amateur hour to me. The simple fact is that none of the people are remotely believable in their attitudes, their actions, or their speech... and this is absolutely unforgivable in my opinion. Are we really supposed to believe that the greatest, and no-doubt most expensive, mission in human history will be undertaken by such a combined collection is imbeciles and weirdos? The first scene with them all together in the hanger (before they see the hologram of Guy Pierce pretending to be old), they all look like a bunch of petulant teenagers, slouching around in their hoodies trying to look all cool and tough. In the real world the geologist, Fifield, wouldn't be trusted with the TV remote let alone a multi-million pound trip to another planet. The rest of them were the usual stereotypes of cowards, "tough-guys", and dysfunctional weirdos that only ever inhabit movies like this.
But the big problem is that none of the "scientists" do or say remotely believable things. For example (and there are MANY examples to choose from)
1. Taking their helmets off in an alien environment on no more than a quick computer scan (that failed to pick up either the presence of the worms, or the dead aliens on site).
2. Fifield constantly freaking out about absolutely nothing. In the real world the guy would be in an asylum, but no - here he's the obvious choice .
3. "Scientists" immediately touching alien creatures with no care at all.
4. Other "scientists" getting blind drunk literally minutes after making the greatest discoveries in the history man.
5. David opening up a "black oil" "bomb", snapping bits off it and pulling bits out (despite never having seen one before), like he's a child dismantling a Lego house.
6. The lack of Shaw even mentioning to anyone she just gave birth to an alien squid . and then managing to not kill it.
7. The complete lack of any hint of proper quarantine procedures. Ludicrous.
8. The attempt to re-animate the alien head - why they do this is never explained - which then causes it to blow up (again, why this happens is never explained).
And so it goes on and on and on
Now I can forgive films of the past that fell down as a result of special effects technology being inadequate to fully realise the director's vision as long as the script and characters are believable. This film is the complete opposite - superb visuals coupled with pathetic characters and appalling script-writing. I honestly can't believe that Mr Scott sat down at the end of making this movie, watched the finished cut, and said, "YES! That's exactly the film I wanted to make". If so, he needs to be pensioned off and banned from ever getting behind a film camera again. The line from the film, "Every king has his reign and then he dies", has never been more apt with Mr Scott's movie-making career.
Lastly, what was the point of having Guy Pierce doddering about rather unconvincingly in rather unconvincing old-man-makeup? Simply employing an older actor would've made far more sense. But then again, very little about this movie makes any sense. Yes we can all look really REALLY hard and try to draw religious parallels to this movie in exactly the same way that if we stare at the sky long enough we might be able to make out the face of Father Christmas in the clouds, but frankly I think that's overlooking the blindingly obvious fact that this film is just a bit rubbish really. (I remember people spending hours discussing The Matrix Revolutions, looking for hidden meaning and hidden depth..... before everyone finally realised that it was actually just a load of junk. So it will be with Prometheus).
Never mind, at least there are two good Alien films out there. For me the Alien mythology starts with the Nostromo in Alien, and ends with Ripley, Hicks and Newt sailing off in the Sulaco at the end of Aliens.
Save your money folks, and if you really feel the need to contribute to Mr Scott's pension fund, buy Alien on Blu Ray instead.
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