Movie Review: Prometheus (English) 156

In theory, ‘Prometheus’ should have been an engaging sci-fi film. It had none less than Ridley Scott, the creator of the original 1979 ‘Alien’ and it sought to find answers to intriguing questions about humanity’s origins and had talented actors like Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron. But alas, the result is totally unimpressive.

The film opens with a sequence where a proto-humanoid alien drinks a mysterious potion and disintegrates into a waterfall just as a spacecraft hovers away. Cut to late 21st century, archeaologists discover a cave painting of a star map. Cut to two years hence, we are aboard a spaceship named ‘Prometheus’ in search of a superior race on a mysterious planet as they belive that these aliens ‘engineered’ humans.

Funded by a rich old man Peter Wayland (Guy Pearce) and under the watchful eye of Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) the chief crew members are archeologist and lead character Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), Pilot Captain Janek (Idris Elba) and a curious android David (Michael Fassbender). What happens to the crew when they land on a mysterious satellite to a planet forms the plot of the film.

While the thought of traveling through space is an exciting proposition in itself, the crew members of “Prometheus” seem so disinterested. They wear an expression as if they were woken up from a night long bus journey from Mumbai to Hyderabad. What’s worse is that nobody remembers a thing about why they are on that trip till the briefing!

And who are these crew members? They are a motley bunch of 17 so called specialists who aren’t introduced to one another despite being on an expensive inter-galactic project. Were they recruited in ‘stasis’ mode? And there’s a guy who snaps back when a crew member says a customary ‘Hello’. Would someone really behave so badly when they are a small isolated team light years away from earth?

Logically, any expedition is bound to follow certain protocols and chain of command. But here, we have people who behave like schoolkids on a picnic and a couple of them want to walk back to the ship! If they are so disinterested, why did they sign up in the first place? We’re talking about a geologist who is not bothered about alien rocks and a biologist who wants to pet an alien snake-like thing and gets killed doing so!

The mother of all goofs is when Shaw undergoes abdominal surgery in an automated machine. One moment, she is writhing in pain having her wounds stapled like paper and within no time is up and running all over the place! How can that be even remotely possible? Even when she shows up with blood all over, the remaining crew members are not surprised at all and are not even bothered to ask what happened.

The only saving grace is some good acting by Fassbender. The scene where the sentient robot passes time reading dreams of those in stasis, learning languages, playing solo games, etc., is simply fascinating. While it portrays loneliness in space, it effectively introduces the spaceship to the audience. It is the film’s best scene. But the promising start withers away when the crew wakes up from stasis.

One may argue that movies are all about entertainment and one must leave their brains back home in a freezer. Such assumptions hold true for bollywood’s assembly line comedies. But, logical inconsistencies are unpardonable when the creator of ‘Alien’ series is the one wielding the megaphone. Just what were you thinking Ridley Scott? C’mon, stereoscopic 3D cannot make up for a poor script. It’s a let down.

Rating 2/10: Totally confused plot that leaves you yawning!