by Kris Katz
Brief spoiler-free entertainment reviews

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Prometheus (2012)

Let’s be clear: this is a film with problems, and some of them are pretty big. Yet the fact remains that they just don’t make sci-fi like this very often: grand and inquisitive, poking a big stick into bigger ideas and seeing what kind of horrifying monstrosity of an answer comes tumbling out. For the first half of the film, it’s almost as good as you want it to be. The setup is immediately compelling: an invitation to a faraway planet written on ancient cave walls across the world. We wonder what answers wait in the far reaches of space. This is a horror-thriller, however—wonder will soon give way to dread, and unfortunately once things inevitably start to go sideways the plot and pacing do the same. The second half is frankly a bit of a mess. Character motivations get lost in the shuffle, traumatic events pass with hardly a moment of reflection given to the victim, and developments that should be startling are met with a strange sense of apathy. Horror exists almost entirely on the premise of characters making poor decisions, but some of these are particularly cringe-worthy. And yet this is still a film worth seeing. For one: it’s absolutely gorgeous from start to finish, with barely a shot that is anything less than beautiful, even when it’s grotesque. For another: Michael Fassbender’s performance as the android David is absolutely riveting. And there are still those questions it’s keen on fiddling with, dangling like a carrot on a stick. This may not be a perfect film by a very long shot, but there’s more than enough here warrant recommending. Especially if you’re a fan of the Alien franchise.

7 out of 10.

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