Saturday, June 09, 2012

Review for Prometheus

When Ridley Scott chose to go with a new mythology and story for Prometheus (based on writer Damon Lidelof's suggestions), it would have been much better if they had gone all the way and completely distanced their movie from Alien. No matter how good of a script they would have weaved, Prometheus could still never match up to Ridley Scott's original Alien. And for sometime during pre-production the movie supposedly didn't have anything to do with Alien. But the Alien brand is too big to ignore, so things from Alien ended up being shoehorned into Prometheus.

Comparisons to Alien is not really fair as the tone of Prometheus is vastly different, of course they tried to mimic the atmosphere of Alien in the trailers for Prometheus. The movie needs to be appreciated and judged on its own merits. But those merits are definitely not for story narrative and characterizations.

In fiction especially in the horror genre its common for characters to do things which are redundantly stupid, in order for the story to move forward while characters face imminent deaths or face other dire consequences. But such mediocre writing was not expected from this movie. Damon Lindelof is getting lot of heat for the script, though it's important to remember original writer Jon Spaihts could be equally responsible for how the movie script played out. Another problem for me was with the pacing in the second half of the film and how the rest of the crew seems oblivious to the well-being of one of their key crew member.

I wanted to love this movie, but disappointed that it didn't happen. But despite my criticism, I liked the movie, at least I enjoyed parts of it. The production design is gorgeous while inducing that cold feel. I couldn't really tell which was CGI and which are real locations and set designs. Noomi Rapace gives a strong performance as Elizabeth Shaw, getting to root for her is something that came off naturally. But the finer moments and interactions in the movie really comes from Michael Fassbender as David, especially when he parallels his existence to the humans. The musical score by Marc Streitenfeld isn't memorable except for the track "Friend from the Past" (which is taken from the original Alien score), but surprisingly my favourite track "Life" which does stand out comes from composer Harry Gregson-Williams, including the variation of that track with "We Were Right".

The finale of LOST left many fans disappointed for not answering many of the mysteries that writer Damon Lindelof and his team had built up. But I still loved the finale to LOST, the emotional punch and closure dwarfed my need for answers by the end of the finale episode. Similarly there are some questions that goes unanswered in Prometheus, but I find that appealing to a certain degree as it gives room for more speculation and discussion. And though theories of our own existence and possibilities of ancient astronauts have been discussed for decades now, this movie will now again spark up those topics to the lesser known people.

The movie's marketing team are responsible as to why this movie had no real mystery to it. I had only seen the teaser and the first full trailer, yet that was sufficient to predict the third act of the film. But thankfully the movie still managed to save some bits of mystery in the end and I was quite pleased with how the movie ended on a high note.

I hope with a stronger script Ridley Scott tries to pull off a better film for the sequel.


Anonymous said...

Very great to look at and features a spot-on direction from Scott, but it seems like there was too many missed opportunities for this flick to be great. Instead, it just went for ok and that’s what bummed me out. Still, can’t say I didn’t enjoy myself. Nice review Vivek.

Vivek said...

Thanks Dan, I enjoyed reading your spot on review as well. Scott definitely still has it in him to pull off greatness. Here is hoping he delivers a better film with the Blade Runner sequel.