First, the good news:
Prometheus is a captivating experience, meant to be savored on the big screen.
Ridley Scott's reputation as a master craftsman is well deserved and he offers up a big, impressive, eye-opening production. It's also well cast, with two forceful female characters played for all they're worth by Naomi Rapace (Sweden's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Charlize Theron.
Even better, the versatile Michael Fassbender plays a sly, sophisticated robot, built in human form to make the real humans more comfortable dealing with him. He's a living, breathing version of HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and like HAL, he needs watching: he's always one step ahead of everyone else on the spaceship Prometheus.
The year is 2093. Rapace and her partner (Logan Marshall-Green) play scientists who, thanks to a deep-pocketed corporation, get the opportunity to travel on Prometheus to a distant moon in search of clues to the origins of mankind. A series of cave drawings have led them on this ambitious journey. Most of their fellow voyagers are just along for the ride, including captain Idris Elba and chilly executive officer Theron. It's the quest for answers to the Big Questions that gives Prometheus its underpinning of thoughtfulness. (Rapace wears a cross given to her by her late father, not to contradict her scientific discoveries but because, she says, "It's what I choose to believe," echoing the words of her dad.)
When Ridley Scott directed his science-fiction saga Alien back in 1979, he dared to take his time, carefully building up to the first scary incidents. That won't do in 2012, so there is a moment in the opening scene involving a humanoid creature that serves as a tease of things to come. This presages the bad news: Prometheus may be more intelligent than run-of-the-mill sci-fi sagas, but it doesn't skimp on icky, gross-out moments or scenes in which characters make poor decisions that lead to their mutilation and demise-as in any tacky B movie. Watching Prometheus requires a strong stomach.
The screenplay, by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, apparently began as a prequel to Alien and then evolved into something else, but echoes of Alien remain, which is why official acknowledgment is made to the writers of that film, Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett.
While I was completely engrossed in Prometheus, I felt a tug-of-war going on between the cerebral and visceral elements, right up to the finale. In fact, there are two endings, and without giving anything away, I'll say that I wish the movie had faded out after the first. Fans may disagree, but I think the inconsistency in Prometheus' DNA-and the obvious contradiction this represents-is what keeps it from being a great film, or a ground-breaker, as Alien was.
I don't mean to damn this film with faint praise: falling short of greatness doesn't mean the movie isn't gripping and entertaining. It is. And it certainly gives audiences their money's worth.
What other viewers commented on Leonard Maltin‘s ‘movie crazy' web page on indiewire.
Jonathan June 12, 2012
I find it amusing that folks watch this film and don't grasp it. Therefore they say the movie is ‘stupid', ‘crap', ‘a waste etc. It's a mistake to project your own inability to understand the story on the film. The ‘suppossed' plot holes are none existent as many posts and other sites have explained. In most cases it is a matter of the viewer missing key details or not paying attention. This film is amazing, smart, beautiful and the first step towards a greater story.
I loved the thoughtful insights involving Darwinism, Creationism, Mythology, Theology, Sociology, Politics, Military Agenda, Spirituality, Biology, etc. - WONDERFUL! I really appreciated that the filmakers opened a dialogue for the audience to ponder. They don't tell or presume that they have an answer for these BIG questions.
Now we have the chance to discuss these things amongst ourselves. In this way PROMETHEUS is as ‘groundbreaking' as Alien and Blade Runner (both films which still have their fair share of admirerers and detractors by the way). I appreciate everyone's opinion on this film. I think that Sir Ridley Scott has given us a gift in this film that transcends the film. In another ten years it will have its place amongst the great SCI-FI epics. It deserves it now in my opinion.
I really think one needs to be careful in declaring a film ‘Stupid or Crap' solely because it wasn't understood, didn't meet a misplaced expectation or follow a certain genre formula. I love the allusions to genetic advancement/perversion as a metaphor to a spiritual condition. WOW! A ton of deep stuff in this film and I will need to watch it a few times. That alone makes this film brilliant.
Cathy June 9, 2012
The diaglogue in this movie was sophmoric from the start. Scientists and doctors do not say "sh*t" and god da**it" every time something goes wrong.
And when they did have something to say, it sounded like something a high school kid might say,. I couldn‘t find anything remotely cerebral about this movie.
And for a group of scientists, they had no trouble touching anything that moved or oozed. How about the engineers talking to the disgusting, dripping wet bone of saliva as if it were a puppy? Are you serious? And what about Charlize Theron. Same stance as in the perfume ad when she strips off her god lame. I don't know who this movie was pandering to but it wasn't somebody with half a brain. Two thumbs down.
Andy June 11, 2012 10:46 AM
Very poor indeed, I was hugely disappointed. I expected so much better from Ridley Scott. Whilst the visuals and special effects were outstanding the plot was rushed and made too many jumps.
The worst feature though was the plain stupid B-movie behaviour. "plenty of oxygen and Low CO2, I'll take my helmet off then" "No don't" "See its fine", " Oh, OK then" . Ever heard of viral infection ? "What has happened to Fifield and the other one?" - Dunno, maybe you should check the video record of them being attacked, maybe.... "Fifield's beacon just appeared outside" So why not talk to him ? If he doesn't answer why not take a look on the camera ? On the other hand, just open the damn door so he can kill 3 of us."
Source: leonard maltin‘s movie crazy, indiewire.com