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Prometheus | The Clapper Bored

Prometheus

Words by John Hewitt

So here we are. Prometheus. This is a big one, one of the most hotly anticipated films of the year. Having been in development from as far back as 2002, it was going to be stunning, one way or another. So, in honour of this, I decided to make something of the event. I booked my tickets a month in advance, I made sure not to give myself any info that might spoil it for me, dressed in my best cinema snob jacket, went to the midnight IMAX screening, sat back and watched. And I came out with just as many questions as I went in with.

The story follows Dr Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), a religious archaeologist, who discovers through several cave paintings the coordinates to a far off planet that may hold the answers to secrets regarding evolution and the human race, especially concerning their ties to the strange ‘Engineers’ depicted in the paintings. With the backing of Weyland Corp, Shaw travels to the distant planet, along with the mysterious android David (Michael Fassbender), the caustic Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) and her happy-go-lucky colleague Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green). Upon investigating several ruins on the planet, the team soon realise that the Engineers are long gone, destroyed by unknown forces. And what destroyed them may still be on the planet.

I went into this expecting an Alien prequel that would slot nicely at the start of the series. What happened was actually quite disappointing. There is not a lot of flesh to the film. Only a few of the main characters have any real development, exposition is dropped into the dialogue rather abruptly and there are so many details needed to understand what is happening that are just overlooked. The sheer amount of events forced into the two hour long film means that a lot of this falls by the wayside so that the next event can happen. It is certainly a film that demands a sequel, just so as to have a full understanding as to what is happening at all and what it all means. While a lack of detail is expected of films starting a series, the lack of detail is actually severely frustrating instead of intriguing.

That is not to say that the film does not have positives. The visuals of the film, the planets, the designs, the aliens, the ruins and the graphics are all stunning to watch and will take your breath away, especially if seen in IMAX or 3D (something that can’t be said for most films). Also, the film is kept amazingly atmospheric through the camerawork, soundtrack and lighting all working together to create tension and mystery. However, as impressive as this is, it is but a pretty skin pulled across a skeleton with barely any meat on its bones.

As visually awe-inspiring and atmospheric this film is, the severe lack of detail and very thin substance do tarnish its glamour. Still worth going to see, but is in desperate need for a sequel to tie the loose ends together.

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Title: Prometheus
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce
Certificate: 15
Running Time : 2 hours

2 Comments

  1. Piers Brown says:

    Booked it and off to see it in 3D in 30 minutes. Won’t be at the IMAX but after my Lord Of The Rings “All-Nighter” there I don’t wish to return to that place for quite some time. I hope it’s good, not a huuuuge fanboy of Alien so I think ill probably find it amazing as I undoubtedly wont quite understand the “strands of Alien DNA” that Scott has sprinkled in…apart from an actual alien of course.