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Prometheus (2012)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Prometheus (2012) Pseudo ALIEN prequel/remake [debated among the diehards but no denying the obvious ALIEN roots here, Dan O' Bannon and H.R. Giger receive multiple credits] with director Ridley Scott returning to the helm. Sole purpose of this movie seems to be to [long-windedly] explain the famous Giger "Space Jockey" alien landscape that was originally discovered by the spaceship Nostromo and crew in 1979's classic ALIEN. The plot to PROMETHEUS follows ALIEN closely---a "working class" space crew, all awakened out of hyper freeze, start to investigate an alien life form, this time on purpose [as opposed to the original ALIEN where they intercepted an S.O.S., which later turned out to be a warning to stay away]. The crew is full of the usual cliché characters you don't relate much to as they investigate the planet with a mission funded by a dying billionaire: On earth, in a cave, two scientist crew members discovered ancient hieroglyphics that point to "aliens that created mankind" on this planet, and the basic mission is to find our "creators" and perhaps attain the fountain of youth for our dying, elderly billionaire. [Yawn. Shades of STAR TREK- THE MOTION PICTURE here.] There's a robot dude on board [as in Bishop and Ash in the first two ALIEN movies] and a series of double-crosses that happen with the billionaire's alternate agendas coming into play, but overall, PROMETHEUS (named after the ship in the movie) looks super slick, has some fun sequences, but ultimately is a hollow viewing experience. Really, not much interesting or new goes on as the crew investigates the space jockey alien and takes samples back to the ship---and of course, there's more shadows of ALIEN here with crew members being infected by these early 'alien' incarnations that appear more squid-like and amphibian than anything else. (The tentacle beasties aren't much to look at with their obvious computer-generated, Sy Fy Channel roots.) There's one sequence that stands out, where the female scientist has to "self-abort" an alien form growing in her stomach, but again...we've seen all this before in countless sci-fi/horror movies, including the ALIEN and PREDATOR movies. Lead actress Charlize Theron seems to instinctively know to burn up any infected crew members [it took the crew of the Nostromo half the movie to figure out this defense], leaving very little human vs. aliens sequences. The Space Jockey dude is kind of interesting, and I liked the way his look was actually explained to be a hideous mask [borrowing liberally from PREDATOR there], and the ending sequences do FINALLY show how the famous Xenomorph aliens came to evolve within this context, but this still cannot help a rather sterile and routine viewing experience. I'd also like to mention the whole concept of "prequels" that look so "modern" compared to the movies that supposedly happened eons AFTER they went down [yes, I'm looking at you too, STAR WARS franchise!!!]. This is rather annoying nitpicking, yes, but still...by completely overusing modern day virtual effects and CGI imagery, these 'prequels' make the "high-tech" technology of yesteryear seem so far advanced compared to their futuristic tie-ins that it doesn't make much sense. It's almost as if mankind dumbed down the further we went into the future, if you take the cinematic timelines seriously [and George Lucas obviously does, as he's struggled in vain for decades trying to upgrade his '70's and '80's STAR WARS movies to the CGI, 21st Century standards of his "prequel" trilogy]. Just once I'd like to see a director make a "prequel" with a respectful atmosphere to the sequels that show we made progress in the future, as opposed to the continual "regression" of the whole prequel to sequel experience---including creating modern movies with today's "superb, computer-laced" technologies that aren't nearly as good, original, or engaging as their classic "low tech" '70's counterparts.

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