Watching Prometheus provokes more of a shrug than anything, but it’s not an entirely hopeless shrug. It misses the mark, but it’s reasonably entertaining in doing so, has at least one terrifying scene, and ponders big questions about the nature of the world and the relationship between science and religion. Thankfully, it doesn’t give easy answers either, but that comes off more as a result of not addressing the questions as much as it could have.
The narrative, as it is, plays kind-of like a remake of Ridley Scott’s first Alien film even though it insists on its prequel status. Essentially, a bunch of characters venturing to a far-off alien land meet the neighbors before everything goes awry. The film is, thankfully, sufficiently meaty and fleshy to earn its semi-horror stamp, but it’s more interested in pondering things like science vs. religion and man’s ego and “what is man?” and all those tried-and-true sci-fi ideas that, to be honest, used to be a whole lot more interesting before they were pummeled to death. A bigger problem, however, is that the film feels like a weird off-the-wall mixture of body-horror and kind-of incoherent, esoteric sci-fi musings about “the state of things”. I’m all for a game attempt at style-bending, but this one bounces from evisceration to idea to evisceration to idea and it’s awfully easy to walk away waving your hands up in confusion and never really being able to put them down. The film tries a lot and doesn’t succeed especially well at any one thing, but at least it is trying a lot in the first place. Continue reading