Prometheus - 8/10 (who the fuck is Logan Marshall-Green? THAT IS TOM HARDY. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON -- in the credits they call him Logan, even on IMDB)
My review is going to be in white because it's so full of spoilers. It's also going to be very long...
Everything was going smoothly, even beautifully at times... until Elizabeth Shaw stumbles onto that old guy. GODDAMNIT.
As a huge fan of the Alien series (Ressurection did not happen) I have been looking forward to this movie for a while now.
The beginning --- huge, gorgeous sweeping shots of the planet's scenery (to be pedantic, I would have slowed these down, and taken my time with each shot. I felt the cuts were too quick. Letting the audience sink into the atmosphere is important). I think more effort could have been put in to clarify the ship's mission and intent, but I let that pass by. By the time Prometheus had landed and was exploring, I was thoroughly enjoying this film. The homages to Alien and Blade Runner were many but well appreciated (the hyper-sleep pods, the mucus David discovers on the hieroglyphics etc). H R Giger clearly had gone all out because the designs were magnificent, dark and haunting. The collective state of emotions was flowing well, the actors were enjoying their characters (particularly Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender) and the questions the movie posed were genuinely intriguing. Not to mention the consistently stunning cinematography, heightened considerably in 3D.
Why did David infect the Doctor? What are the hostile alien species doing on the planet? These are the questions I thought would be clearly answered in the latter part of the film. That's how they were set up, anyway. The caesarian scene was absolutely blood-curling. As a woman it made me feel even more nauseous. 100% terrifying. From just this scene the film established, in my eyes, that it was now descending into horror--which, imo was the most appropriate route.
But... but.... it did not go that way. The film did something stupid. The last arc was full of gaping holes and seemed to distract from the questions, overall theme and emotional journey of the characters. It overloaded. Instead of delving into the terror the passengers of the ship would experience, it just kept adding: the old guy in charge is revealed to be on the ship the entire time, weird relationship moments between a goblin-esque Guy Pearce and his blondebots, a live alien in a pod that turns out to be evil, alien vs alien showdown... No no no no. The emotional reaction was forgotten save for Elizabeth and it was just a complete mess.
In my opinion, a movie should not NEED a sequel. Movies that are magic in my eyes are ones that tie all their own knots and are satisfying as an isolated piece. You did not need to see Aliens to enjoy Alien. It is a finished package.
What Should Have Happened According To Nina:
Scotts' strong lead heroine is clearly running into the same evil Ripley does. What seemed to be coming together in the film was the creation of the Alien. With Tom Hardy's infection and the spawn inside Elizabeth and the white worms that killed the geologist and his skeptic pal, there are clearly enough ingredients here. What would have made sense is Elizabeth, like Ripley, against the Alien. In fact ending on a chestburster scene after the "this is the last survivor" line would have been appropriate. Good films know how to be vague--and I think the decision to make the albino alien men evil was silly---keep it a mystery. The Nostromo receives a distress signal, which well could have been Elizabeth using the alien technology to reach out with the help of David. I think once the film turned dark, it should have kept getting darker and more suspenseful instead of laying on the CGI, until the bitter end. I think Prometheus crashing into the alien ship was premature and didn't quite make sense---it could have happened closer to the end, or not at all. In fact another idea would have had everyone dying on Prometheus, with David and Elizabeth escaping to the alien ship and crashing due to the chestbursters, instead of a ship crashing into another ship. The 'hopeful' ending, in my opinion, ruined it. At first I thought it was cool, but on deeper inspection its as if the character is literally flying away from the actual plot.
So yeah. Amazing amazing amazing and then wtf.
i agree with what you said about the first parts of the movie, but not when you think it went off track. my problems with it aren't about what unfolded but about how smoothly it did and how well it was executed. i thought what happened made sense. it seems like you wanted it to be more like alien
than it was. i don't think it was meant to be like alien
. it's thematic scope was much larger and more ambitious. (but i haven't seen alien
in a while.)it's not that the alien men are evil, it's that they are indifferent to earth people, or that earth people aren't special in the universe. their mission that went awry thousands of years ago was to exterminate earth, and when reawakened he reengaged in the mission. it turns everyone's ideas of some enlightening origin of life on its head, because what they found was actually a dormant extermination of their lives. their discovery bit them in the ass, which, in a nutshell, is what prometheus often symbolizes: scientific ambition or lust for knowledge and enlightenment that has adverse consequences (frankenstein).
i think david infected holloway to make a "you made me, i destroy you, how backwards is that?" kind of statement, like the discovery they made on the planet: not an origin of life or reason for creation but only death.
the ship prometheus crashed into the alien ship because it was a symbol of prometheus sacrificing for man. i'm not sure how it else it could have been done. prometheus made made man from clay, brought us fire, but was doomed to eternal torment by zeus. the ship sacrificed itself to keep man alive on earth. the mythic prometheus is the beginning of life and technology, but the ship prometheus sustained it.
the movie means to frame those questions you asked more than answer them. answering them would just be satisfying a narrative without saying much, but framing them in a cosmic perspective makes us question why we ask those questions in the first place, as the questions they had turned out to be totally misguided, finding that life on earth is just a subset of sentient life in the galaxy, and our intellectual agenda make no difference to life elsewhere. what we thought would supply us with answers will actually destroy us.
the ending doesn't necessarily imply a sequel. it demonstrates shaw's unbroken faith. despite everything, it's, "what she chooses to believe," that the answers she wants can be found. that's why i didn't expect tangible answers to those intriguing questions. it would be a desirable, but detrimental payoff. haha, that curiosity the movie leaves you with is just like the curiosity of the team in the movie. i wonder if that effect on the audience was intended, to show how relentless we are in our quests for tangible answers and tightly bound narratives. it does parallel theology when you think about it.
This is the crux that I don't agree with. Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 follow this movie. The planet, company that owns the spacecraft and head of the company are consistent in all of these movies. I
Those ontological/cosmic questions you are talking about would still be present and within the film's fabric even if they had actually finished basic plot points. As a film I feel it went far too broad and answered far too little. As you say, the pacing and focusing of certain characters was off so emotional satisfaction went awry. I think you're getting too philosophical about it---I'm judging it as a story and a film rather than a debate on our species' spiritual purpose. The questions and sense of wonder and curiosity I felt were asked at the start, and I felt the end ultimately distracts from them rather than fuels them... Idk. I felt a more brutal end would have done the job, but they made it all whimsical and cheerful.
Just a movie I guess! Ho ho ho.