Divisive and Disappointing: Prometheus

There has been a lot of talk about Ridely Scott’s new film Prometheus.  It has been quite some time since a mainstream film, let alone any new release, has evoked such divisive responses. Online and face to face discussions have abounded about the legitimacy of Scott as a filmmaker, what a film that asks only questions should look like, the mythology within the film’s universe, and the lack of sense found in the group of scientists aboard the Prometheus.

Roger Ebert gives it four stars here. Brett McCracken writes about the hidden subtext here.  While /Film contributor Adam Quiglyy deconstructs both its philosophical and narrative capabilities here.

At least it is getting people talking, but one can’t help but wish that all this talk stemmed from a much better movie.

Setting aside the plot holes, dumb scientists, head scratching mythology, lame attempts at philosophizing, and laughable writing there are some core problems with Prometheus. Quite a bit of the issues listed above only appear in the viewers mind while talking about the film afterwards. For it is on a fundamental level Prometheus fails.

It is saying something when the android (fantastically played by Fasbender) is more human than the rest of the cast. The pace is so rushed and action heavy that viewers never come to truly care about these people. When a major character is killed off at the halfway point one does not care. Their death is neither all that shocking, horrifying, nor sad. It just is. The viewer remains apathetic to who lives or dies because no one is ever fully developed.

Which leads to the root of the problem: Prometheus’s plotting and pacing. In the first act Scott and his screenwriters move the story along at a speed that neglects both tension and atmosphere. Then the second and third act are filled with numerous half assed plots that pop up and disappear. Nothing ever builds. The film turns into a series of rushed mini plots. By the time the film comes to a conclusion the mediocrity of it all left this viewer both severely disappointed and wondering why I paid 12.50 for this sprawling mess.

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One comment

  1. I have an inkling…that Scott just wanted to show us the final scene of his first Alien being born. Alongside that inkling…I can see Scott laughing all the way to the bank.

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