Saturday, June 9, 2012

"Is it finger-licking good?"

Prometheus: In Space, No One Can Hear You Struggle to Resolve Plot Points

This review contains minor spoilers pertaining to the origins of the Aliens and a couple of set pieces. Nothing too drastic.

Prometheus is a beautiful movie. It truly is. In a cinematic climate where studios pump obscene amounts of money into visually interchangeable blockbusters, the achievements of Ridley Scott and a visual effects crew over 200 strong deserve all of the recognition they've been earning. Its use of 3D, unique and commanding but not in a way that draws attention to itself, is exceptional; the colors and lines are controlled, attractive; the camera work, barring a few confusingly staged set pieces, clear. Maybe those gnarly Giger edges are starting to show their age after three decades, but as one small star in this film's dazzling constellation of frigid light and alien terrain and sleek futuristic technology, they fulfill a much grander aesthetic purpose.

Purpose is a funny word to use in conjunction with Prometheus, though. Despite the wealth of attention paid to its appearance, the movie comes up lacking when you attempt to justify its existence in any other way. The visuals are a product of love and care and tremendous scrutiny, and the script is a first draft that Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts excreted because their executive producers were probably breathing down their necks, begging them to get it done so the rest of the staff could actually work.