June 28, 2012 Seth Perkins

Film Review : Prometheus

WARNING : Spoilers contained and marked.

Prometheus is an excellent film.  Is it perfect?  Heck no, but it is an excellent sci-fi ride and prelude to Alien.  From the opening sequence depicting death and rebirth of an alien humanoid through to the raging climaxthe film had my jaw on the floor.

Prometheus  managed to live within the Alien universe while keeping the look-n-feel updated to 21st century standards.  The environments were cold, high-contrast, and somber, drawing from the same cyberpunk DNA that H R Giger and Ridley Scott invested in the original film.  I have listened to the soundtrack several times over on Spotify.  Jerry Goldsmith, the late composer of the Alien soundtrack and one of my favorite American composers, is still there.  His usage of sparse arrangement with massive harmonic interval continues yielding an environment of dark suspense.

The story, in its broad strokes, is solid drawing on the universal question of “Where did we come from?”  Everyone can identify.  Unfortunately, the finer details of the script itself have moments that could have been refined.  For one, people have a tendency to take off their helmets in alien environments…  These characters should not be that stupid.  Most of the perpetrators of the helmet falasey are highly educated and should be aware that oxygen is not the only thing to worry about when traveling abroad.  I understand why this device was used, it made me say “Oh no!  Don’t do that!!”  However, the device  woke me from the “dream”, reminding me that I’m watching a film.   ****SPOILER****  There is a revelation in the 3rd act about someone being alive and someone else being a relative.  Frankly, this was obvious from Act I.  Both of these pieces could have been removed with little negative effect or should have been handled more delicately to make the revelations actually earth-shattering.

The acting was superb.  The entire cast was solid.  Fassbender deserves awards.

Ridley Scott’s orchestration was masterful and balanced.  No element of the film outdid the other.  The visuals were not gratutious, rather they supported the film in the same way as the score, the production design, the cast, the cinematography : as one cohestive whole.

If time were available, I would easily have walked out after the credits and done an about-face for another run through.  Easily, my favorite Sci-Fi of the past few years.

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