Friday, June 8, 2012

Prometheus is solid meeting of faith and science

‘Prometheus’ wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.

Yes, I bought into all the hoopla about whether or not it is an ‘Alien’ prequel or not (it is – by the way). I just thought it was going to be all monsters and mayhem.

Boy, was I wrong.

‘Prometheus’ is one of those strange movies that defy being categorized. It’s a monster film. It’s a mystery. It’s philosophical. It’s even profound in some places.
Essentially, though, it’s the philosophical portion of the film that spoke to me the most.

At its core, ‘Prometheus’ is an age-old story. It’s about two people who want to find the origins of our world -- and the individuals that go on the adventure with them.

Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover a cave in Scotland in the opening minutes of the film – after a really jarring three minute introduction to another world that doesn’t make a lot of sense at the time. That cave houses pictograms that lead them to a star system where they believe the beginnings of Earth can be found.

In other words, they think that there are “architects” still living on that planet that picked Earth to populate in their own image.

‘Prometheus’ is as much about faith as anything else. Elizabeth wears a cross around her neck – signifying that even though they’re going to look for beings that would shatter the religious beliefs she was raised with, she still has faith.

Charlie is the modern agnostic, though. He wants to ask these beings not only why they created the human race – but why they ultimately abandoned it, too. He doesn’t believe in any one God or any one religion – and he is essentially punished for that disbelief.

While I found the spiritual debate interesting – I don’t’ think it’s going to be everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, anyone that believes in a strict interpretation of the Bible and its teachings and has a fit when anyone says anything to the contrary should probably steer clear of this movie. You’re not going to be happy with the outcome.

Personally, I thought the movie worked as a philosophical debate more than it did as an alien movie. I like my aliens attacking humans scripts to have a few more scares and a lot more gore. That’s just me, though.

Charlize Theron plays Meredith Vickers, the daughter of a rich philanthropist that is near death but is a believer nonetheless. She is cold, calculating and manipulative. She’s also a survivor. This is the second movie in as many weeks that she steals every scene she’s in.

Idris Elba plays the Prometheus captain Janek. Elba continues to show why he’s one of the better actors of his generation. His Janek delivers some of the only comic relief in the film – and he’s got smoking hot chemistry with Theron.

The other notable casting choice is Michael Fassbender as David – the ship robot. Like his ‘Alien’ counterparts Bishop and Ash – David’s intentions aren’t readily known in the beginning (they become glaringly apparent halfway through the movie, though). I don’t want to give too much away about the character, but David is really kind of the heart of the film. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, I’ll let you decide.

My one casting quibble is Rapace. It’s not that she’s an awful actress. She’s not great, but she’s not terrible either. I just couldn’t find myself rooting for her for some reason. She’s just kind of vacant as a performer to me.

In the other ‘Alien’ movies – even the bad ones – I was still rooting for Ripley to win the final battle. Sigourney Weaver is a lot warmer as a performer, though. By the end of the film I didn’t care whether or not Elizabeth won. I just wanted her to stop talking.

I didn’t dislike Rapace so much that it took away from the film – but I did find her to be a distraction at times.

In the end, I think anyone that loves a good alien movie and likes a little spiritual debate will enjoy ‘Prometheus’ for what it is.

Ultimately, I still find ‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens’ to be better – and I won’t be purchasing ‘Prometheus’ to join the 'Alien' collection on Blu-Ray
What do you think? Was ‘Prometheus’ worth the wait?


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