Friday, 1 June 2012

prometheus looks for a beginning

Prometheus
I couldn't hear anyone screaming but maybe that's because we were in space.

Since Alien, there's been a couple of other sci-fi movies that add to my enjoyment of the genre. One was The Fifth Element with its quirkiness (obv.) and another I'll quietly admit was Riddick.

They both added flashes of orange, some humour and massive landscapes to their stories, so I wondered what Ridley Scott would do with his Alien prequel.

There's a fair amount of the Alien styling in this one, conveyed on a sweeping scale. A corporation sponsored science cruiser in deep space with a numerous and slightly randomly assembled crew which hints at early reel expendability.

Then there's a far planet and a deserted cave system. Traces in the torchlight of organic glop.

Sound familiar?
Prometheus
I guess that's part of the formula - although this one adds references to Erich von Däniken, Darwinism, some edges of religion and the first discovery of fire. Some good and potentially conspiratorial ideas are floated but in the second half the action takes over.

We also get an android channeling Peter O'Toole as one of the most characterful performances and a spaceship that looks quite like 2001's Discovery One on the inside.

It's a 3D movie, and uses a big screen format immersively without overdoing the tinkerbell effects. That's not to say there aren't some suspenseful and splattery moments and a pretty cool soundstage that was good enough to convince me that I was getting sprayed with liquids and pelted with rocks. I actually thought this would be good to see on those D-Box wobble seats. I wasn't quite so sure about the space buggies they drive around in, which looked a bit hastily assembled.

I won't include a spoiler here, I guess it's one of those films that plenty will see at the cinema. It's too early to talk about 'that' scene let alone 'that other one'. In any case, Ridley Scott's already got two other landmark movies with Bladerunner and Alien.

This one hasn't given me quite the wow of the others, partly because of how much it tips its all-round gorilla glass space helmet to the earlier works. I'd rather have seen it develop some of its specific ideas and spin away from the Hollywood meets Weyland-Yutani financial need to link all the franchises together.

I still enjoyed it but it's got me thinking about other movies I now want to view again.

Here's the Ridley Scott prequel to the prequel, which isn't in the movie - and a link to the stylishly designed Weyland Industries (est. 2023), which also includes the David 8 brochure and video.

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