July 23, 2012

WTF Movie of the Week: Prometheus

To continue my journey into sci-fi/horror I decided to go and watch Prometheus with my darling wife and some friends. It was directed by Ridley Scott and supposed to be the 'spiritual prequel to Alien'. What could go wrong, one wonders. Well, Charlize Theron should've alerted me sooner, but I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt.

The movie opens mysteriously enough with some strange humanoid standing on the edge of a lake ingesting a pill. This was a bad idea, since the man promptly disintegrates. What is this pill, one wonders. Well, rest assured, you'll not find out in the coming toe-curling, teeth-grinding, hair-pulling hour-and-a-half.

The movie revolves around this group of astronauts going over to a planet where theoretically, supposedly, possibly, maybe there could be sentient life and the explanation of where humans came from. This is indicated by some prehistoric scribbles on the walls of caves found all over the world. Reason enough for an excentric businessman to spend $ (and change) on a space mission. So we open on a scene where an android is preparing the crew for their awakening from hyperspace sleep. All goes well and the crew quickly gets the low-down on why they're there. Scepticism and macho behaviour abound, of course, but the crew goes on their merry way. But instead of finding the origins of human life, they find odd orbs which quickly turn out to harbor all kinds of very distasteful looking creatures. Suffice it to say, these creatures are not very welcoming of their new guests. For the team, all goes awry from that point on. Unfortunately, this is also where the story goes down the proverbial drain.

I cannot express enough the irritation this movie brought to me. A long time fan of Alien and Aliens (not the rest), this was as bad as a root canal by a myoptic dentist. The characters are totally taken from any horror-movie textbook (pregnant with a monster baby?), the plots twists itself in so many strange ways that the writers probably confused the hell out of themselves (Alien came from human DNA?) and the overall message the film seems to want to convey is: "Give it up! All is bad and horrible in the universe and we should all just curl up and die!"

Charlize Theron's character wakes first from the hyperspace sleep and is shaping up to be the next Ripley. Okay, fair enough. But then she has about three lines in the whole movie, has sex, freaks out when things go wrong and dies stupidly by being squashed under a spaceship. The real heroin (Noomi Rapace) of the movie is such a whiny, unstabile and miserable whench that I really could not believe that she was going to take on Alien. Speaking of which, he only shows up in the last 30 seconds when he's born in the typical stomach-churning style (pardon the pun). Guess they had to squeeze that one in...

Is there nothing right about the movie? Well, I got to say something for the effort made by Michael Fassbender who does a good job of delivering a believeable eerie android with a double agenda. He's a good actor in my book, but with what he has to work with in this mastodontic dud of a movie is beyond the powers of any actor.

The only thing that could possibly redeem this movie is a 3-hour director's cut that shows what Mr. Scott really wanted to achieve.

For now I'll dust off my old Aliens-collection and wash the bad taste from my mouth.
Go Ripley!


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