While most of the world may be thoroughly sick and tired of talking about Prometheus, some countries are only just getting to see the movie.
One such nation is Germany, where the movie was released last week. One of our German readers, Michael Buch, got in touch to offer his thoughts on the film, including how the long wait – and inherent temptation to seek out spoilers – may have affected his enjoyment.
Take it away Michael:
I had read a lot about the story before actually watching the film – yes, I spoiled myself, because I couldn’t wait for it to open here.
That, and all the viral marketing on the web let my expectations increase dramatically, and finally I wasn’t too sure if the film could actually deliver.
I’m a huge fan of the “Alien” franchise since I’ve first seen “Alien” back in the 80s (actually, I’ve even been a fan before ever seeing it, because I had the novel way before I was allowed to watch the film). I’m a big fan of Ridley Scott’s work, too, “Blade Runner” being one of my other all-time favourites. So, naturally, I had very high hopes for “Prometheus”.
So was it what I hoped it would be?
I’ll try to write something about the different elements of the film:
Story and characters:
Well, it was epic after all. I really loved the opening scenes with their mystic background and breathtaking photography. Sadly, some later parts of the movie couldn’t hold up against this epic opening. I really loved that the writers picked up some original story elements from the first “Alien” that were dropped back in 1979, for example the alien pyramid, which was originally planned to be next to the derelict in the original film.
Unfortunately, the film could not keep the dramatic greatness of its opening moments for the complete length of its running time, as it got lost in the more typical monster-and-mutation-stuff, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as I obviously love monster movies. I would have loved to get more background on the “Engineers”, their true objectives and motives. I hope these things might get a bit more detailed in a possible sequel or an extended cut.
When I watch this kind of movie, I don’t need every character completely fleshed out, but some of the characters in “Prometheus” were a bit too one-dimensional in my opinion. You didn’t get to know everybody, and sometimes it was a bit confusing who was still alive and who had already been killed. I loved the main characters, especially Captain Janek. Sadly, his screen time was rather short, so let’s hope for an extended version with more Janek.
The characters of Milburn and Fifield seemed a bit strange to me, as they didn’t act like trained scientists but more like some kind of idiots, and I couldn’t really feel sorry for their gruesome deaths. More or less, you could not really care about most of the characters due to poor writing and missing characterisation.
Sometimes the film was missing a bit of suspense. Maybe that’s because I already knew a great deal about the story and what was going to happen next, but then again, I’ve seen “Alien” and “Aliens” nearly a hundred times and I still feel more emotionally involved with their stories than I did feel with “Prometheus” and its characters. But maybe the film has to grow on me, I will definitely give it another chance.
Ridley Scott knows how to create great images, and I had nothing to complain about the technical aspects of the film. In fact, I loved the photography and the sets, as they felt “home” for an old “Alien”-fan, even if the ship looked not as old and creepy as the “Nostromo” interiors. I’ll have to mention Marc Streitenfeld’s score, as I really loved it. Great opening theme and over all a good musical score. I really liked the little musical homage to Goldsmith’s “Alien”-score when Peter Weyland was first introduced at the crew briefing sequence. That put a big smile on my face. I also liked the fact that most of the creature effects were done for “real” with animatronics and puppets, and CGI was not overdone.
Connections to “Alien”
So…prequel or not? Sometimes I had the feeling that the writers desperately wanted to put certain elements of the original movie into “Prometheus”, for example the last survivor running around or the closing lines.
Maybe my expectations have been too high.
“Prometheus” is not a bad film and I’m still thinking about it, which is a good sign. Overall, it was a nice experience at the theatre, a visually stunning trip back to the “Alien”-world, and I quite enjoyed the ride. But then again, I really would have liked to get more information about the Engineers, more character background and not that many plot holes.
I’m looking forward to watch it again, as I think it’s a film that has to grow on its audience.
Our thanks to Michael for the well thought-out review. If you have an opinion on Prometheus, or anything else related to the Alien franchise or Ridley Scott, why not write your own piece, and we’ll publish it here.