Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is a massive, bold and striking entry into the science fiction genre.
Unfortunately, for some, this exploration doesn’t quite explore far enough.
The film, just over two hours long, could have certainly used a little extra breathing room and time to work itself out. There’s so much to this fictitious story about the origin of humanity that another hour wouldn’t have been a bad thing.
The screenplay, by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, introduces a lot to its audience in very little time. It ponders our existence, our creation and much more. What we’re left with though, at times, just doesn’t feel like it went far enough.
This isn’t a masterpiece. Scott’s film isn’t full and it certainly could use a bit more. But that didn’t stop me from loving every single minute of it. I certainly believe certain characters could have been built up and rounded out a bit more, motives of characters could have been clearer and explored more and philosophical concepts could have played a larger role.
On the other hand, Prometheus is one of the most appealing visual feasts I’ve witnessed in recent years. Maybe it’s because these kind of films are like candy to me, but I really fell in love with the way Scott’s film looks. I just thought it was all so damn cool. My feelings of positivity ranges from the absolutely awesome spacesuits to the look and feel of the world they land on. Every detail, small or large, had something worth liking. But is that enough?
The real test is whether you loved the ideas a film presents to you. Execution and completion withstanding, I genuinely loved the ideas and discussions that the film offered to me and ate it all up like a spoonful of something delicious. But like I said before, I think such heavy discussion deserve a little more time to figure itself out. We have scientists and other brainy people trying to figure out where humans came from. They’re exploring a new planet. There should be more time and love given to this. It all falls just a tad bit short.
That isn’t to say I am one to criticize a film’s lack of answers. I don’t believe a good film has to answer everything or give a conclusion to everything. If Scott is to be believed, a sequel could be made. That isn’t an excuse, of course, but it should put the minds of some critics at ease, or fans who want more answers. What I do think is that Prometheus just deserved more. It deserved more time, more love and more passion. I think Scott’s intentions were there and well. It wasn’t a quick cash in to make a buck off his previous success, it was a fully realized visual spectacle. It’s a loud, intense and wonderful science fiction film. To be perfect, though, it could have taken another few steps in exploration, NOT conclusion.
The film is bolstered by good performances from Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron and more. They’re likable actors and do a fine job translating their characters into something worthwhile and not something to just pass by. The ensemble as a whole is good at giving a little bit of extra life, even though the characters could use a little more edge and roundness.
In the long run, Prometheus should be remembered for the marvel it is. It isn’t a perfect film and didn’t live up to the hype any Ridley Scott Alien-related would receive. But not living up to hype isn’t a fair thing to criticize a film over. It is fair to criticize the film for being a little short on the philosophical discussion it tries to carry itself on.
Maybe I am just too much of a science fiction fan to totally discredit Scott’s achievements, but Prometheus is a terrific beast of a production that in the end deserved just a little bit more love from its source material.