||[Jun. 19th, 2012|04:53 pm]
Wrote this back on 15th June, just haven't gotten around to putting it up until now.
Well, I've seen Prometheus, and having seen it, I can fully understand why it's polarised audiences.
There will be spoilers in this, probably major ones. My quick thought is, the film has some huge flaws and problems, but I rather liked the theme running through it. There are many good films that have just as many issues. I don't know if it's a film I will bother buying, but I may if time warms me to it enough.
Now to venture into more spoilery territory. The marketing played funny-buggers by claiming late in the day that it wasn't an Alien prequel but 'shared DNA.' What the hell does that even mean, beyond the marketers being smart arses and congratulating themselves on coming up with a clever phrase that also relates to their film? It is an Alien prequel, albeit a separate story told in the same universe, and its problem is it's not a very good one.
There's too many elements of this that don't work or make sense. We have multiple scientists not acting like scientists and making stupid decisions. In fact, most of their stupid decisions stand in direct opposition to their chosen fields! We're given a bigger crew so a few more can be killed off, and when that happens we don't even take in half of those killed - they were just there to fill out numbers and die. Oh, and we have one of those old, and very annoying chestnuts of plot convenience - the character who realises something is wrong with them and chooses not to tell anyone.
It didn't surprise me to learn this was written by one of the guys from Lost. That was a series that intrigued but ultimately annoyed me, to the point where I gave up on it towards the end of the first season.
However, while Prometheus is not a good Alien prequel, it's not a bad thematic sequel to Blade Runner. There is a constant theme running through the film of wanting answers from parents, creators, and gods, and I found that the most interesting element of the film.
Yes, they go the obvious route with David's actions, but they also give us a being that is capable of deeper thought, and is in the position of being able to question his creators. More to the point, unlike so many on-screen androids, there's no indication that he wants to be like us. Copy aspects of someone you like is not the same as wanting to be human. In fact, I got the impression he didn't think much of humans as a whole.
That aspect, how it relates to the human characters and ourselves, and the whole questioning our creators idea, I found quite intriguing. It's a theme running through the film that, for me, saves it.
I was recently introduced to the idea that the xenomorph in Alien is scared of the humans. The first time it appears, at the dinner table, people scream at it and it runs away. Certainly if you watch it as a film where the alien is being hunted by the mean ol' humans, it gives you a completely different take on its actions. I think watching Prometheus as a film examining people's relationships with their gods and parents would make it a lot more interesting and palatable to some.
And I can't shake the impression that, just as David doesn't like his creators, if Shaw doesn't get the answers she wants from her creators... well, let's just remember that she does have access to a ship filled with biological weapons.
I'd like to see it again, tempted to see it at the cinema a second time, but I'll probably wait for rental.