12
Jun
12

5 Reasons Why Prometheus Failed

PROM-003 - A monolithic figure towers over the explorers of a distant planet.As you guys may have read a few weeks back, I was so excited about the Alien prequel Prometheus that I went out and hired all four Alien movies in anticipation of what people were saying was going to be one of the best movies of 2012.

In retrospect, I needn’t have bothered. Prometheus is so vastly different from the other four Alien films, it’s probably better if you go into it without any preconceptions from the other films whatsoever.

In fact, it’s probably better if you straight up don’t go and see this movie at all, it is honestly that infuriating and here’s why.

Reason No.1: It has more loose ends than a bowl of bolognaise

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m all for leaving a few questions unanswered at the end of the film, it’s a great way to inspire debate and ensure the film lives on in people’s minds after they’ve seen it.

But I draw the line where a film leaves you guessing what the hell was going on from pretty much the opening scene right through to the final fade out.

Writer Damon Lindelof and director Ridley Scott entice the audience with provocative tidbits throughout the film that hint at a much, much bigger story that is never developed or revealed.

 

 

The result is that about two thirds of the way through the movie, you start to feel like either you’re the biggest idiot on the planet for not understanding what’s going on or Lindelof an Scott are deliberately obscuring everything to mind-fuck the audience.

Both conclusions inspired the same reaction in me – outright fury for spending so much money to see a film that basically doesn’t make any fucking sense.

Reason No. 2: Every human in the movie is shit

Notice how I said every human in the movie. Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of the android David was probably the best piece of acting in the movie, despite the fact that his character’s motives throughout the film as clear as mud.

As for everyone else, I challenge anyone outright to find one character they actually like in this movie.

 

 

Archaeologist Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) is a leery jerk who opts to get drunk after making possibly the biggest discovery of human history, Weyland Corporation head honcho Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) has not one redeeming quality and is as interesting as dry toast throughout, Captain Janek (Idris Elba) doesn’t seem to give a shit one way or another until he (SPOILER ALERT!) bizarrely sacrifices himself at the end of the movie and Guy Pearce is a disillusioned old turd who you just want to die from the minute he appears on screen.

And then there’s the film’s heroine, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) who is basically the made-in-Japan version of the original Ripley from Alien, only where Sigourney Weaver looks badass and like she could kick seven shades of shit out of you, Rapace looks timid and like she might be better suited playing the over-looked love interest in a quaint English rom-com.

As for the rest of the cast, they’re nothing more than fodder. I’m not sure why they even bothered to name them, I would’ve just gone with “dude who dies first” and “token Asian guy”.

 

 

It’s a big problem when you produce a movie that doesn’t have any likeable characters because there’s very little chance of your audience investing in the movie if the characters all feel like cardboard cutouts.

But to make things worse…

Reason No.3: The characters do one epically retarded thing after the next (HILARIOUS SPOILER ALERT)

You’re on the surface of an alien planet that could contain any number of unidentifiable and harmful bacteria and you take your spacesuit helmet off the second your suit tells you the air is breathable?!

You encounter a weird dick-like, alien snake thing that flares open like a goddamn spitting cobra and you decide to approach it like it’s a harmless Labrador puppy?!

 

 

Your crew members are stranded in the bowels of a hostile alien planet but instead of ensuring their safety until they get back you decide to go off and have a shag?!

You receive a signal from one of your crew member’s suits who you know is dead right outside your ship so you decide to open it up and invite him in for tea?! (Not quite, but they might as well have).

A gigantic spaceship is about to roll right on top of you and you don’t veer right or left but opt instead to run directly in its path?!

I could go on, but I think you get the point by now. The characters in this movie put TIMMAY! to shame on the tardometer.

Reason No.4: Christianity

Yep. You heard me. The big “C”. This film is riddled with it.

In fact, when viewed through the stained-glass window of Christianity, the film makes a lot more sense, even if it is only on a symbolic level (thank you Cavalorn for shedding some light on what the hell this movie might have been eluding to).

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Christianity, or any religion for that matter provided a) they are not taken to murderous extremes and b) they are not used in the goddamn prequel to Alien!

Reason No.5: Complete and utter lack of any kind of originality

If this article from Forbes is legit, then all Prometheus comprises of is a patchwork of characters, concepts, themes and designs stolen from Dark City, Contact, Stargate, AI: Artificial Intelligence, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

We’ve seen this all before. Sure, it’s a visually stunning piece of film and when the gut-churning violence gets going, it pulls no punches, but otherwise there is very little going for this movie.

Of course, I might be missing some crucial thread that ties everything together and makes Prometheus some kind of sci-fi game changer, so feel free to hit me up in the comments section if you think I have.

Prometheus aims high and misses. The only thing that could possibly save this film is a sequel but the big question is, after this disappointing prequel, would anyone watch it?

Final verdict: 4/10

-ST


12 Responses to “5 Reasons Why Prometheus Failed”


  1. June 12, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Whilst I didn’t react as violently towards the film as you did, I agree with everything you said. My main concern was the likeability of the characters, ESPECIALLY the fucking Holloway douchebag who is the ultimate overly cocksure jock who happens to be an archaeologist. He is so unhinged and unlikeable, it’s like they ported him directly from a Fast & the Furious sequel and put him in a spacesuit. Is it that difficult to make characters likeable and empathetic that the viewer can actually root for them, instead of WANTING them to die? Seriously, why the fuck does everyone seem to have an agenda?

    Plotholes and loose-ends aside, the film is full of memorable scenes, but it just isn’t a cohesive whole and would be even more frustrating if it wasn’t for the earlier films to give it some context. I thought the humanoid engineers were wonderfully imagine, the birthing scene would give new mothers nightmares… but the best scenes for me were of David (Fassbender) just going about doing his thing.

    It’s a disappointing film, that is ultimately a big-budget B-movie, but it could have been so much more. Perhaps if it was handed over to a director who had the same passion I imagine Ridley must have had over 30 years ago… Perhaps Nicholas Winding-Refn or Duncan Jones would have handled the material better.

    • June 13, 2012 at 8:57 am

      Dude, couldn’t agree more on the wanting them to die point. Takes a lot of impact out of the death scenes when you feel completely ambivalent towards them.

      Also agree they needed a younger, hungrier director. A lot of film critics say Scott peaked with Bladerunner and that everything since has been disappointing.

      A prime example of a movie that collapsed under the weight of its own ambition.

      -ST

  2. 3 dp
    June 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I actually liked it. The main thing I didn’t get is why the Engineer in the beginning drinks the black shit and fertilizes the Earth with his DNA while a flying saucer takes off in the background.

    Why did they create humans only to want to wipe us out?

    Fassbender was cool, I thought Noomi was a likable heroine, rememebr in the first Alien Ripley was a scared scientist and not yet an ass-kicker. Shaw seemed to be the only sane and likable one, along with the lusty captain, in the movie.

    Maybe they’re going to release other media with additional info, i don’t know. A lot of things didn’t make sense and I had a lot of questions, but I walked out of the cinema intrigued, not frustrated… Anyway, they were definitely setting it up for a sequel, so lets see where it goes from here.

    7/10

    • June 13, 2012 at 8:59 am

      Look, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, yours just happens to be wrong 😉

      I’m going to see it again on Friday, so despite everything I’ve written in this post, I am giving it a second chance to see if there was some vital element I missed. Let’s see how it holds up after a second viewing…

      -ST

  3. 5 dp
    June 15, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    No prequel can ever be worse than The Phantom Menace…

  4. 6 Seerower
    June 20, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Dunno if you caught this, at the end of the credits it shows a Weyland Corp logo with 10. 11. 12 below that and a link to weylandindustries.com/timeline. My good friend The Googles also found this for me: http://www.whatis101112.com/

    While it doesn’t answer any questions (it asks more than it answers) it does set you up for a trip down the existential philosophical path that the film’s storyline pointed to. There are 6 “modules” on the website of which only 1 is unlocked.

    Very interesting…

    • June 25, 2012 at 11:38 am

      Hmmm, that is interesting…

      Thanks for sharing dude. There is a lot of evidence that seems to be pointing towards a Prometheus sequel and to be perfectly honest, I’d probably go watch it if they released one.

      -ST

  5. 8 adf§§
    June 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with your review. More reasons why it fails could be added, here is just one (from critic Ed Whitefield): “…film in which events just occur, one after the other, without due preparation or payoff”.

    • June 25, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Case in point – the scene where Fifield comes back to the ship as some kind of mutated ape-zombie and starts killing the shit out of everyone. No build-up, no explanation, just “Hey guys! Fifield’s back!” “Hooray! Open up! Hey buddy, how are y- AARGRHARAHGAGRHAGRAGHAHRGRA!”

      I rest my case.

      -ST

  6. 10 mervincat
    June 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Hey Slick,

    Ace review. Kak film. Was expecting so much more. Check this out, compliments of Cracked
    http://www.cracked.com/blog/a-series-emails-from-prometheuss-new-tech-guy/

    Funny shit right there – almost as funny as your shitty!
    Keep up the awesome work bru.

  7. September 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Dude you made my day with your review, i was soo sad and angry at the same time, just finished watching Prometheus and was reading reviews because I could not believe I hated the movie so much and you made me laugh all the way, thank you for that.

    I feel I’m not the only one, plus, the biggst problem with this movie is about revealing things that should never had.

    For example, when they explained how the first alien is created or who where the jockeys, man, they just ruined me the clear picture I had of the first alien and the crew finding the derelict… The origin of Aliens should had never being explained on scrren, not this way, the final scene of this movie is put in such a harsh way, stupid, made for dummies with 0 intelect and with total disregard for the saga.

    They ruined Alien 3 for the same reasons, explaining things that should’t have.

    After so many years, hollywod and directors just don’t get it, hundreads of millions of dollars spent on stupid movies that spell everything out, every mistery to the viewer and what they choose to “not” explain, is not interesting enough to be bother with.

    I couln’t care lesa about the jockey hatred for humans, but the image of LV426 and the derelict ship being found is still in my head and will always be, mistery does not need fancy CGI, it just needs cretivity, something this movie lacks in it’s entirely.


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