If you go to see 'Prometheus' expecting an 'Alien' prequel you are gonna have a bad time [review]
The audience at the Thursday June 7 12:10 am screening of "Prometheus" at the Arclight Theater Hollywood on sunset Blvd in Los Angeles just sits in their seats. No one moves, no one talks. The lights come up and it is so quiet you can hear a pin drop. People just stare forward and after a minute turn to their friends with the look of what did I just watch?
Slowly people stand and shuffle out when the credits start to roll. I mean you can taste the confusion and the hurt of the crowd. The reaction is the same as the dejected looks I saw at age 15 when "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" ended. Did the unimaginable just occur? Could Prometheus do to "Alien" what the prequels did to "Star Wars"?
People who wear parody "crew member" shirts of the ship Nostromo, that was in the original "Alien", look around like someone just told them their dog died. There are guys dressed in outfits like the characters Parker, Brett, and Ash from the first movie. They came into the movie like giddy school kids, fully decked out in the 1979 "this is the future of utilitarian, trucker/miners deep-spacefaring tracksuit fashion fare". At the end, walking out of the theater, I swear I see a teardrop well up in the eye of one of the people dressed as the character Parker. I could be wrong, though; what he wiped away from his eye with the sweatband taken off his head in the most crestfallen way could just be dust.
The joke before we went into the movie I heard from a friend was: "The plot of 'Prometheus' was kept so secret, not even the movie Prometheus knows what it is". "Alien" was very much a story of the Mother cycle; conception, birth, death in a strange Joseph Campbell Hero Tale modification. "Prometheus", on the other, hand tries to allude to the Mother cycle, too, but then gets so lost in the other side things it becomes a muddled mess.
But when it comes down to it, I'm bitter because I drank the "fanboy sold prequel" sauce on this. I thought it was gonna be a true dark twisted "Alien" prequel that gives you a good hard tale of why and what happens with the nature of frail failed creators who face their children, their legacy, or the poxes they have left and sown for the world because they dare reach for an unearthly fire, much like the title Prometheus alludes to. But it leaves me thinking it's empty, it's hollow; "Prometheus" needs a director's cut that might make it awesome. Example being Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven: Directors Cut", a movie rated mediocre in it's theatrical release but then hailed and paid tribute to in a forty-five minute longer extended film of amazing depth, plot, and character development.
There are more issues with characters and their depth in "Prometheus" than I can touch on without spoiling the movie for those who might watch it. But I will touch on this: When you have one of your characters die by dropping a ship on them like they were the wicked witch of the west, have a pot-smoking hard-ass, have a LA hipster Scientist act like Laurel and Hardy in space -- and the film just pretty much has "Intelligent people" act like total idiots to every possible protocol of pathogene prevention -- you really start to loose me. Right now I feel like I'm Randy Meeks from "Scream", and I will point and yell at the very terrible usage of horror movie tropes this film used, we are talking drugs = death, sex = death ... yadda yadda.
But if you go in thinking you are gonna get "Alien", you will have a bad time. If you have a theater where you can drink hard liquor or beer during the movie, go see it there. Don't have high expectations and you should come out okay. Pretty much everyone I talked to who expect this to be a prequel to "Alien" comes out bitter. Anyone who went into this film not knowing a lick from Adam about the "Alien" mythos and says, "Oh you mean the things that have big mouth and then a little mouth inside?" is just swell with how the movie went down.
My rating: 6 out 10.
If I was not educated in the way of the xenomorph face hugger alien lore: 8.5 out of 10.