The new film, “Prometheus,” reminded me why I’m not wired for sci-fi. I’m crazy about director Ridley Scott when he makes films such as “Thelma and Louise” and “Gladiator.” I have the utmost respect for Oscar winner Charlize Theron, especially in “Monster.” And I’m just downright in love with Michael Fassbender, who floored me with his depth in “Shame.” But throw them into a confusing, action abyss and I’m lost.
I could have napped through the first half-hour of “Prometheus” had it not been for Fassbender’s character, David (an android), who has an almost singular presence. He and his hibernating crew are onboard the spaceship Prometheus bound for a distant planet. The mission was predicated on scientists, Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway (Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green) studying prehistoric cave paintings and who believe that the origins of human life may exist on the planet. How they ascertain this lacks any sensible segue.
Subplot (spoiler alert): The Weyland Corp. is funding the interstellar search but for much more nefarious motives. Its hidden agenda is heralded by the overly icy Meredith Vickers (Theron). In a shocking discovery toward the end of the film, we learn she’s actually the daughter of CEO Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) who’s hiding onboard. I could have cared less. It had absolutely no bearing on the muddled plot.
I have to give Scott credit for creating exquisite visuals in stunning locales such as Iceland, Scotland and Spain. And there were two deliciously crafted scenes that blew me away, one of which was a surgical procedure to remove an alien being from Shaw’s body and the other the decapitation of David, who functions perfectly away from his torso.
But, overall, “Prometheus” suffers from lame dialogue and, at times, a corny script. It takes giant leaps of faith, which are impossible to swallow. And, although the film is well-cast, aside from Rapace (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and Fassbender, the acting is superfluous. Rapace is intense while Fassbender steals the show.
Although “Prometheus” raises the question about the origin of human life, it offers absolutely no answers. In mythology, Prometheus was the Greek god who angered Zeus by stealing fire and giving it to mortals. If there was an analogy to that in the film, it was lost on me. The ending of “Prometheus” screams sequel — I think I’ll pass.
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