Saturday, June 09, 2012


Okay, in this review of Prometheus:

MovieBob expresses some minor disappointments, but declares the movie to be pretty good overall. Since none of his issues with the movie mean anything at all to me, I decided to catch a matinee this afternoon.

Have you ever seen a movie that was almost good? That you would have liked, except for a few seemingly minor details that just killed your enthusiasm? Prometheus was like that for me. So I'm going to vent here. Don't be surprised if I ramble.

Let me start with this: MovieBob discusses the extent to which this is a preqel to Alien. Whatever. This is totally a prequel to Alien. It's almost a damn remake. And like the Star Wars prequels, there are continuity issues by the end of the movie, which are kind of irritating.

 Supposedly smart people doing stupid things. (These people were selected for a deep space mission requiring two years in cryosleep, one way.  Presumably, they've been vetted for expertise, as well as the ability to cope with extremely stressful situations.) Like, not taking any kind of weapon when going to investigate an alien planet (this is kind of the "I'll be safe, I have a flashlight" trope that most horror movies use to make the characters helpless). Or this: It is noted early on that Vickers (Charlize Theron) stays in luxurious quarters that are actually a lifepod, completely separable from the rest of the ship. Towards the end, when things are going to hell, she needs to abandon ship, so she runs to the standard, coffin-sized escape pods; where she has to hurriedly don an environment suit before climbing into the pod. Her quarters/lifepod are shown to detach from the ship about ten seconds before her escape pod launches. So why didn't she just run to her quarters and buckle into a seat? After all, that sort of thing is explicitly given as the reason she set it up that way in the first place.  And why in the hell-of-being-cut-to-pieces is the medical pod in her quarters(!) programmed exclusively for male patients? (Seriously, why would any medical pod be?)

This next one is actually a big issue for me.  There is a scene where a small lifeform is left alone for a time (a few hours in this case).  When we next see it, it is huge.  However, it is clear that there was no source of food for it during that time.  So where did all that mass come from?  I sort of have the same issue with comic-book characters like the Hulk, except that in the comic-book genre it is easier to accept, because willing acceptance of super powers is necessary.  Hulk's sudden mass increase is no more unbelievable than Cyclops' laser-eyes or any other character's power.  And, for all its (oh, so many) flaws, the first Hulk movie tried to address the issue.  At one point the military was able to track the Hulk by looking for sudden temperature drops as he absorbed the ambient energy around him.  (I said "tried").  It's just part of the genre. But Prometheus (like Alien, Species, and every other sci-fi/horror movie that uses this) is supposed to have at least a nodding acquaintance with physics.

Finally, though I can't say it was intentional, my first thought on seeing the titular ship was "It looks suspiciously like Serenity on steroids."

So yeah.  Almost good, but overall not worth it.  I kind of want my two hours back.