academy wards nominations 2013

Prometheus (2012) Review | Jamie Daily

Prometheus (2012)
85th Academy Awards 2013
4/5 Stars
Nominated for 1 award.
Nominated for Best Visual Effects (Charley Henley, Martin Hill, Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood).
Watched October 28, 2013.


Reviewing Prometheus is one giant spoiler alert waiting to happen.  Even its trailers did a good job of keeping the target audience in the dark, which is perhaps why everyone thought it was going to be much more groundbreaking than it actually turned out to be.  With all of the potential and the execution from the talented special effects team, one hopes that the story of Prometheus could step up and deliver an unexpected sci-fi plot, but alas, Riddley Scott employs the same story-telling techniques from the 70s and falls short of expectations.


That being said, coming from someone who loves sci-fi but hates aliens, I really enjoyed Prometheus for what it is.  A small team of miss-matched people have been hired to embark on a trillion dollar expedition to an unnamed planet in 2093 because a couple scientists have found some prehistoric drawings in caves around the world.  Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) is what they call a true believer.  She, her partner Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), and the ancient man funding the trip are searching for answers behind humanity’s existence.


The beginning of the film is slow.  It explains things well, introduces a few key characters, and lets everyone in on the purpose of their trip.  You can tell everyone is there for a different reason, but for most of them it’s just the money.  They find a place to land their ship pretty quickly–nature doesn’t build in straight lines–and find a giant dome structure where they spend the majority of their time on the planet.


Without revealing too much, things obviously go a little wrong while on the planet and the movie only answers a few questions about the cosmos and humanity, while leaving the rest unexplained.  Certain characters like Janek (Idis Elba) have a small but important role as captain, others like Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) are woefully underused.  David (Michael Fassbender) is the resident android and he quickly steals the show, seconded by Dr. Shaw.


I thought the acting was good, the special effects were seriously phenomenal, and the story had potential.  I enjoyed that it left questions unanswered but it either tried too hard to be a horror film or didn’t try hard enough to be a sci-fi exploration film.  There were certain elements that were executed well and I liked the dynamic between David and Shaw quite a lot.  Maybe it is because androids rarely play the good guy but I was wary of David from the beginning.  I won’t reveal what side he’s on and the reasons for his actions, but he is certainly a scene stealer.


Although Life of Pi won Best Visual Effects, Prometheus one hundred percent deserved its nomination.  While character development and plot were a B-grade film at best, the special effects were A plus all the way.


If you enjoy sci-fi, I would definitely suggest Prometheus.  It was just enough suspense for my taste and had a good pace that never left me looking at my watch.  A couple characters and performances make up for some of the other downfalls as well.  Even if you can’t handle movies like Alien, you might be alright watching this film, although if you’re looking for more of a thrill you might be a bit disappointed.