I said last week that I wasn’t really feeling the Prometheus hype, that sci-fi isn’t really my bag and I was struggling to get interested in it despite a top-notch cast. But I also thought that, because I wasn’t on the crazy hype wagon, I might actually get to enjoy it because I wasn’t expecting a transformative movie experience.
That pretty much happened. I saw it, I did like it, and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing it again in order to try and pick up on some of the nuance I missed the first time, when I was busy being all grossed out and/or scared. My short review is this: Prometheus is a solid sci-fi/horror movie that, at times, is profoundly creepy and disturbing. The film delivers across the board and it’s good to know that Noomi Rapace, who was kind of just okay in Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, can do well in English-language films (chill out, I’m not saying she has to speak English always. Just that sometimes non-native speakers struggle with the language barrier, see also: Audrey Tautou). And The Fassbender is magnificently creepy and vaguely malicious. And Idris Elba is very…in charge.
As for Ridley Scott’s “comeback”—eehh. He’s such a technician and the visuals really are stellar, and he struggled to maintain the pace and tone throughout the film. But the bigger problem is the one that has haunted him over the last few years—he doesn’t seem able to get his hands on a truly solid story. I don’t know if it’s a lack of patience leading to rushing projects before they’re ready or if he just doesn’t care about narrative or maybe he just has a tin ear, but Prometheus suffers from gaping plot holes and a narrative mish-mash that drags the whole thing down. You can definitely tell when Scott is working versus when the script is working. (A more thorough review can be found here.)
And now, on to what matters—is this movie making money? I’m the first to admit that this kind of thinking is usually the biggest problem with any film, but at the same time, no art form is as dependent on money as filmmaking. My Sunday nights are blocked out for touching base with the numbers guys, and seeing how the box office is doing. There must always be money, or there will be no more movies. So, money. Prometheus made some. For an R-rated movie with only a tenuous link to a pre-existing property (Alien), Prometheus did well, pulling in an estimated $50 million (I think the actuals will be slightly higher.) That means my guess of $52M wasn’t too far off, hurrah! It also means Prometheus will no doubt break $100 million domestically, and is further proof that adult-oriented movies can and will make money. Prometheus lost the #1 spot to Madagascar 3, but it managed to keep up with a family-friendly franchise piece, so hope is not lost for the R-rated drama.
I’m glad I didn’t have crazy expectations for Prometheus because I ended up liking it rather a lot, even if there were some hiccups along the way. When it worked, it worked so well it was genuinely thrilling to watch. That doesn’t mean I want to see Blade Runner 2, though.
Attached - Charlize Theron leaving the gym the other day.