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Wick's Review

Created Jun 13, 2012 02:42PM PST • Edited Jun 08, 2015 12:42AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    Prometheus may be pretentious but it’s also spectacular and occasionally petrifying, an imperfect blockbuster to be sure but hardly an unsatisfying one. Ridley Scott rarely delivers anything less. Perhaps he’ll deliver more in the inevitable sequel.

    Notwithstanding a strong cast, the spaceship Prometheus is the ultimate star of Prometheus. Large, sturdy and full of interesting sci-fi doodads, it’s a worthy entrant to the cinematic hanger that includes the starship Enterprise and the Nostromo from Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece Alien. Even when Prometheus tangles with a monstrous alien ship, it doesn’t let down its crew – or the audience.

    Prometheus ferries a crew of scientists on a search for the aliens who created humanity, literally a quest to meet their makers. It doesn’t end well for them, as meet their makers they do. In fact, things go to hell from the start. This is intended to make the movie terrifying, though it only occasionally hits that plateau.

    The movie’s hero is Noomi Rapace’s Christian scientist. (No, she’s not a Christian Scientist. She’s a Christian who is a scientist.) The movie uses her Christianity as a foil for an especially cruel story about human evolution, making it the least Christian movie imaginable. Typical Hollywood.

    Rapace stars in the movie’s one undeniably terrifying scene. Needing to get an inhuman fetus out of her womb, she leaps into a robotic surgical machine for a late 21st Century Rosemary’s Baby operation, literally petrifying the audience in the process. Bravo.

    What fresh hell will Ridley Scott put her through in the sequel? The mind reels.

  3. Great 4.0

    Noomi Rapace finds an English-language role that favors her, unlike the disappointing part she played in last year’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Still, her British scientist only occasionally sounds properly English, the rest of the time sounding like a Swede speaking English. OTOH, her capacity to absorb punishment, demonstrated so extensively as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, gets exercised all the more. Even the futuristic Rosemary’s Baby thing she goes through barely slows her down.

    Michael Fassbender’s metrosexual android is creepily effective, yet hardly believable. He says he has no emotions or human impulses, yet his face betrays otherwise.

    Charlize Theron is terrific as a rapacious corporate executive. Theron’s become one of 2012’s biggest moviestars, as evidenced by her concurrent villainess turn in Snow White & the Huntsman.

    They’re backed up by a generally strong supporting cast.

    • Idris Elba’s ultra-confident ship’s captain provides a cool note in an otherwise overheated movie.
    • Guy Pearce proves he doesn’t need his leading-man looks to deliver an effective performance.
    • Logan Marshall-Green, heretofore a TV star, makes a nicely charismatic scientist.
    • Sean Harris, Cesare’s henchman in The Borgias, makes a hissably unlikable functionary.
  4. Male Stars Very Good 3.5
  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5

    Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron. Let’s hear it for Sweden and South Africa!

  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Very Good 3.5

    Ridley Scott is a master of spectacle. Using massive H.R. Giger alien images and loads of nifty sci-fi machinery, he makes certain that our visual cortexes are well stimulated by Prometheus. If only the story were less loopy, he could have had another masterpiece on his hands.

  9. Direction Very Good 3.5
  10. Play Good 3.0
  11. Music Really Great 4.5
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    Forget having a cast of thousands. Prometheus features a crew of thousands. Seriously, the credits rolled by forever, with the various specialists apparently numbering in the thousands. There were hundreds of visual artists alone, not to mention a three dozen strong complement of software developers, tons of model makers and a Visual Effects Accountant. What sort of VFX Accounting are they doing? Money, cycles, frames or some other metric? Inquiring minds want to know.

    H. R. Giger’s visions reach a new apotheosis as a result.

  13. Content
  14. Sordid 2.6

    Be prepared to cover your eyes during the now infamous surgery scene.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Brutal 3.5
  17. Rudeness Profane 2.6
  18. Supernatural 3.8

    The opening scenes focus on ancient cave paintings that are said to be alien messages to humanity. This poppycock maintains a patina of realism because the paintings are clearly based on those from Werner Herzog’s jaw-dropping documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Ridley Scott simply added constellations to the real paintings and – presto! – he had postcards from an alien race.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.5
  20. Biological Fantasy 5.0
  21. Physical Supernatural 3.9


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