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Prometheus

USA/UK 2012
produced by
David Giler, Walter Hill, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Michael Costigan (executive), Michael Ellenberg (executive), Mark Huffam (executive), Damon Lindelof (executive) for Brandywine, Dune Entertainment, Scott Free Productions/20th Century Fox
directed by Ridley Scott
starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, rafe Spall, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong, Kate Dickie, Branwell Donaghey, Vladimir 'Furdo' Furdik, C.C. Smiff, Shane Steyn, Ian Whyte, John Lebar, Daniel James, Patrick Wilson, Giannina Facio, Anil Biltoo, Louisa Staples
written by Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof, music by Marc Streitenfeld, special effects by Plowman Craven & Associates, Fuel VFX, Halon Entertainment, Lifecast, visual effects by Lola Visual Effects, Rising Sun Pictures, Moving Picture Company (MPC)

Alien (cameo)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A few decades in the future: Scientists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall Green) find some cave paintings in some caves from 35,000 years ago with some stickmen pointing to a star system I don't know how many light years away - a pattern very consistent with other cave art found all over the world that must have been created independently from one another ... unless of course there are some aliens out there that want to invite us.

A few years later, Shaw and Holloway are on spaceship Prometheus on a privately financed mission to the planet the stickmen were obviously pointing to, accompanied by a motley crew of - well, of everything one can think of, including cold blooded mission commander Vickers (Charlize Theron), good-natured captain Janek (Idris Elba), and the prerequisite android with an agenda of his own, David (Michael Fassbender). Well, of course they find some kind of "structure" on that planet that seems to be full of mystery and that eventually turns out to be a spaceship created by extraterrestrials that ... apparently created us humans or are at least our forefathers. But there seems to be something alive on this extraterrestrial spaceship, as two crewmembers are soon horribly killed. For unexplained reasons, David poisons Holloway with something he has found on the planet, and Holloway dies a horrible death, but not before having (consensuous) sex with Shaw ... who suddenly learns she's three months pregnant - and after convincing a robotic medical unit to perform a makeshift cesarian, she gives birth to ... a homicidal octopus. Shaw survives the ordeal though relatively undamaged, and soon she learns the real purpose of their mission: Their frail and essentially dying financier of the expedition, Weyland (Guy Pearce) - as fate has it Vickers' dad - has come with them to literally meet his maker (= the extraterrestrials) to ... ask for a few more years.

Once on the extraterrestrial spaceship, David manages to wake up one of the extraterrestrials from his stasis chamber, but the extraterrestrial immediately goes berserk and kills Weyland and pretty much everyone else in his way. Only David survives decapitation because ... well, he's an android. And Shaw survives because ... well, she's the lead character. The extraterrestrial launches his spaceship though and it soon becomes clear he wants to destroy earth (why?). So the essential crew on Prometheus led by captain Janek decide to crash their spaceship into the aliens to make both of them explode, even if it costs their own lives. Only commander Vickers bails out, and for that she's later condemned to die a coward's death.

It seems like Shaw is the sole survivor of the whole ordeal, but she soon has to fight the extraterrestrial from the (now crashed) spaceship, which she somehow manages to pit against her octopus baby that has grown rapidly since we last saw it. Once that's done, she picks up David's head, which tells her there are other extraterrestrial spaceships on this planet, and since the android apparently can fly one, she persuades him to take her to the extraterrestrials' home planet for some answers.

Oh yeah, and the battle of extraterrestrial vs octopus eventually ended in the birth (?) the alien from Alien.

 

Long announced as the maybe-prequel to Ridley Scott's finest hour, Alien (and by the way, it is a direct prequel), thgis was also tied to hopes that Scott would find to his old form again and deliver another streamlined little space-set shocker fueled by ideas, suspense and tension rather than bombast and an overuse of special effects. Well, these expectations were crushed, in concept, Prometheus is far away from Alien, it borrows freely from the earlier film, but much more so from the many Alien-rip-offs that followed in the 1980's and - when it comes to the film's esoteric undercurrents - from second season Space 1999, without ever reaching that series' so-bad-it's-good quality. Which is a pity, really, because Prometheus is pretty badly written, many of its key plotpoints don't make total sense, and the narrative necessity of quite a few subplots is at best questionable. Add to this characters ranging from bland to one-dimensional, and you're not left with too much. And then there's Scott's direction, which literally drowns the film's story in an overload of special effects, computer graphics and the like, he seems primarily concerned about showing the audience that a busload of money was spent on his films. What he isn't concerned about is creating tension or suspense, and even the (theoretically) best shock scenes come across as ... nothing much.

On the acting side, only Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron manage to really convince. Sure, their characters are one-dimensional, but at least they fill them with some life. Noomi Rapace in the meantime tries to give a compelling performance, but fails to get a grip of her totally bland character, and Guy Pearce is unable to make the audience forget his ridiculous old-man-makeup. The rest of the cast - total void, actually, but the emptiness of their characters is at least partly to blame.

In all, a bombastic movie, made the Ridley Scott-way, and if that's what you like, you'll like Prometheus, but if you're looking for tension, suspense, shocks, depth, whatever, look somewhere else ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD