Ridley Scott may have the technical craft polished to an almost absurdly accomplished level, but the script itself feels like the stoned-at-3:00 AM musings of a first-year philosophy student. It is deep in the most shallow of ways, asking some of the biggest questions of our existence with a puppyish enthusiasm and without even the vaguest hint of an answer.
It's easy to draw comparisons between this film and "2001: A Space Odyssey," and Scott seems to be inviting those comparisons with his first image here, an almost-direct quotation of Kubrick's movie. The difference is that Kubrick didn't graft the Hollywood structure onto his examination of the moments where life has taken a quantum jump forward in complexity and sophistication. He had enough faith in the strength of what he was doing that he told a very unconventional version of a narrative. But anything he raised as a question in that movie, he answered. If you think "2001" is in any way "vague," you need to see it again. That is a movie where every piece of information you need from it is contained within. Although I enjoy "2010" as a piece of mainstream science-fiction, it is very much the dumb cousin of the first film. It spells things out, or tries to, in a way that is almost insulting after how carefully constructed "2001" is to reveal it secrets to a patient and inquisitive audience. Unfortunately, "Prometheus" is far more "2010" than "2001."
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I was going to write a full-blown review of Prometheus, which I saw last weekend, but I don't really have the wherewithal to do so. The movie's been hashed and rehashed so many times since its release in Europe two weeks ago that I'm not sure I have anything insightful to add. So, in lieu of my own review, I offer instead the following quote which comes close to summing up my feelings: