Father’s Day and February 9th. Those are the two days of the year that I don’t get a say in what we do, what we eat, what we see, what we watch. So, that was how I ended up spending my evening in a movie theater with a pair of 3-D glass perched upon my face.
You see, it seems that you *can* see this movie without having seen any of the Alien movies, even though this movie is a prequel to 1979′s Alien. I tried that excuse—three times—but it was a no-go. “All I know about Alien is that some alien baby comes out of someone’s stomach. Or maybe some weird bug crawls out of someone’s ear. And there’s a ship? Oh, wait. Maybe that’s Star Trek?” I didn’t win this one. Rock of Ages out, Prometheus in. I figured that even if I hated it, I was going to get to enjoy a popcorn dinner and some Idris Elba action.
So, knowing that I know absolutely nothing about this genre of movie should earn me some degree of latitude when reviewing this film. I have nothing to compare it to. Does everyone always touch unidentified goo? Are poor decisions part of sci-fi films? Is hokey dialogue to be expected? Is self-performed abdominal surgery a normal occurrence? Are robots with crushes on Lawrence of Arabia‘s Peter O’Toole typical? Do all characters in sci-fi movies think really ugly and scary-looking snake-like things are pretty and worth sticking around to touch?
If they are, then maybe I kind of dig this whole sci-fi thing.
Prometheus tells the tale of two archeologists who discover the same star map depicted in several unrelated cave drawings. They see this as a calling of some sort—and invitation—to journey to this one planet in the system to “meet their makers.” Of course, the journey gets made on the massive ship Prometheus, thanks to a billionaire tycoon—played by Guy Pearce—and his stiff, seemingly unhappy-to-be-there representative—played by Charlize Theron—and a ship full of colorful and interesting characters—at least I assume based on the little insights into their personalities that they are colorful and interesting. They never give us enough character development to know for certain.
And of course, we mustn’t forget David the robot who spends two years on a ship watching movies and learning languages and dying his hair while everyone else sleeps in, um, sleeping pods? He is very important, you see, because he was made by humans. His makers were off in search of their makers.
The movie’s tagline suggests that “the search for our beginning could lead to our end,” which led me and an entire theater full of 3-D glasses wearers to realize very early on that this so-called invitation was not an invitation at all…but a warning. DO NOT TOUCH THE GOO!
So, in the end I both loved and hated this movie…and not just because someone performs her own c-section. It was really good in parts (see: the first 30 minutes)(see: the visuals), and oh-so-horribly bad in some parts (see: the last 30 minutes)(see: Guy Pearce’s old man make-up).
I almost wish there was an extra half-hour to this movie, to help flesh it out a bit more. There are some things I am missing, some things I still need explained.
For example, the first scene of the movie is never explained—what are we supposed to get out of it? Why are we never told what the “engineers” were running from? WHY was Holloway infected, for what purpose—was this just an order from Weyland being followed? Who was the girl playing violin—is it one of Shaw’s memories? Why were humans created only to be destroyed…what was the purpose here? Where does religion and Shaw’s cross fit in? Why would any of those scientists get on board without knowing WHERE they were going? And why was there only ONE biologist on board?
I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that I have so many questions. I mean, it *was* co-written by Damon Lindelof, after all. You know, of LOST fame.