One of my most anticipated films of summer 2012 was Ridley Scott's foray back into science fiction after a near-30-year hiatus, Prometheus, also known as the "Alien prequel." The film stars Oscar-winner Charlize Theron in her second tentpole film of summer 2012 (the first being the widely panned Snow White and the Huntsman, but more about that film later), Oscar-nominee Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender and Guy Pearce. The screenplay is credited to Jon Spaight and Damon Lindelof (former showrunner of Lost).
The reaction to the film has been somewhat mixed, primarily due to the somewhat overheated hype prior to its release as people tried to compare the new movie relative to Alien, which is currently #42 on the IMDB list of Top 250 movies of all time. Unfortunately, it doesn't appears as if Prometheus will be joining that list anytime soon.
I saw and heard the somewhat mixed reviews (currently in the mid 70s on rottentomatoes.com) before I went and saw the movie, but made the decision to just go by myself after the Men's Final was unable to be completed due to rain on Sunday June 10th.
My first reaction to the film is that it is absolutely beautifully shot, one of the most cinematographically stunning films since probably Inception. It also is able to scare, excite and surprise the audience. It also is very frustrating because there are many, many aspects of the script and story which simply do not make any sense. There's a difference between leading the audience by the nose by blatantly depicting plot points with no subtlety and being deliberately obfuscatory and confusing by having characters do things which are just clearly stupid and unmotivated. This results in numerous questions being left in the audience's mind when they leave the theater, but not in a good way of "let's debate the various interpretations of what the film makers intended or speculate on what happens next to the characters that we care about" (which is what happened to me after watching Incendies or A Separation) but more like "what the ...."?
I won't go into the details of the specific questions that can be asked, because I don't want to spoil the movie for people who have not seen it yet, and I do think that it is worth seeing, especially for the visuals, which are truly astonishing. In addition, although the script is a hot mess, it does it atleast provide some fodder for how the entire Alien franchise was started, and in my book, that is worth the price of admission.
For people who are science-oriented or who have advanced degrees or extensive training in a scientific field, it will be hard to watch what can only be described as an irresponsible depiction of scientists. The scientists are played with religious fervor by Rapace and with reckless abandon by hottie Joshua Logan-Marshall. With that caveat, I would still encourage people to see the film.
Director: Ridley Scott.
Running Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sci-fi violence including some intense images, and language.
Release Date: June 8, 2012.
Viewing Date: June 10, 2012.
Overall Grade: B/B+ (3.16/4.0).