Prometheus - Cinema Review

 ''God doesn't build in straight lines', says Logan Marshall-Green, as the ship settles down and the tingles start ploughing their nervous furrow up your spine.'

With a first hour which looks predictably like a mix between Alien and Tree Of Life's more galactic moments, Prometheus really throws your already-befrazzled mind into a state of shock in the second half, when it morphs into something not too far away from being a part of the Resident Evil series. Whilst the first halves' subtle shocks, quiet tension and claustrophobic halls ring to the tune of Ridley Scott's drum, the second echoes to the tune of Paul W.S. Anderson creatures, not-so-silently flouring the screen with a dusting of jump attacks and an air of blockbuster incarnate. If there's one thing Prometheus isn't, its predictable.

That Scott chooses to give way to his ambiguous first half and make things plain, slimy and overtly nasty in the second is a shame but the power of Prometheus' opening hour is such that many will find it is that which will stay with them outside the cinema. The pleasantries of Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discovering links on Earth to an extra-terrestrial body are dispensed with quickly. Inside ten minutes we've jumped two years from the discovery to android David (Michael Fassbender) waking the crew up on the edge of a new planet. Scott is in his element. 'God doesn't build in straight lines', says Marshall-Green, as the ship settles down and the tingles start ploughing their nervous furrow up your spine.

Despite - and, admittedly, also because of - the finale, Prometheus is also evidence that the big 'ideas' Science-Fiction film remains alive. On a plot basis, Shaw and Holloway are searching for their maker. In the subtext lurks Scott and screenwriters Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, occasionally finding new subtlety to question our place in the order of things, in a circle of life that becomes intimately confused during the film's most chunder-inducing scene. Elsewhere, there's something brewing on nuclear armaments. Look for what Janek's (Idris Elba) 'vases' are labelled by one character, as David pauses with their contents on the edge of his fingertip, musing on their power.

It all seems a shame then that Scott's film does, in the end, boil down to schlock. The subtlety is abandoned and new conveniences and overt moments of the 'oh, come on' effect seem to break out minute-by-minute. Parts of it feel almost like a rewrite and the ultimate conclusion may be a galaxy away from satisfying for many. Still, that first half is probably one of the best things you can see in a cinema this year and, the second? Let's just settle on the fact that, at the very least, it is something which demands to be seen twice.

Look further...

'The film's "shared DNA" with Alien, as Scott has described it, is something of a double-edged sword: it lends the film credibility, and gives ample context to the universe in which it is set; but it also sets the film up continually to comparisons with Scott's iconic franchise opener, which is essentially setting it up to disappoint.' - Some Like It Hot Fuzz, 7/10


  1. My Twitter review of Prometheus: not bad, but not great. Massive, but muddled. Intelligent, but not inventive. A shame, could have been so much more!

  2. In addition, after viewing PROMETHEUS, I felt that the film posed more questions than it was able to answer. I know that this is a trademark of Damon Lindelof (à la LOST) but, even so, I found the final third to be confused and underwhelming to say the least.

    1. Think the final third is definitely confused but I must say, I love it more the further away from it I get. Really did enjoy it, for all its flaws. There's an article coming late next week discussing some of the unresolved plot points.

  3. I shall look forward to it! Also, I've just sent you a DM on Twitter with a suggestion of my own...