16 February 2013

prometheus (take 2)

This film polarises opinion. Want to know what I really think? It's a silly escapade on a distant world and bears no relation to reality. It’s daft fiction with a pseudo-science basis. Instead of genuinely seeking the truth of man’s creation, a trillion-dollar jaunt into outer space becomes a study in juvenile meddling.

The film opens on Earth with an alien humanoid erupting after drinking juice from a mysterious phial. His DNA breaks down and mingles with native material. So much for the back story of creation. Swiftly we move to a gigantic spaceship (flown by an android-cum-butler) carrying a familiar motley crew of social misfits and buffoons at the speed of light. The chums awake from their induced slumber, crack inappropriate jokes and some begin smoking.

Cave paintings on Earth have clued them into their destination and when they land they waste no time in jumping out to explore. Before long the helmets are off and they are declaring, “Mmm, this smells nice.” Never mind about gravity, atmospheric density or airborne micro organisms.

Inside a hollow mountain their android pilot finds some creepy goo which he decides to pocket. Soon they find an apparently long dead being whom they guess to be an Engineer – a creator of humankind. With his severed head in a bag they troop back to the ship. Naturally they leave behind a couple of twits who got caught in a dust storm.

Quarantine is for wimps, so they haul the head straight into a lab aboard ship to examine it. This procedure is left to the girls, who giggle and stick an electrode in its ear while they wonder how much juice is enough to revive it. Remember, this is the most exciting discovery in the history of the Universe. Re-animation doesn’t go so well and after some lip-smacking and eye-rolling, the head explodes like a watermelon hit by a sniper.

The dodgy android slips the goo into someone’s drink and he’s sure to be a goner, you just know it. Meanwhile the guys left in the mountain find an alien cobra thing. Do they run like the wind? No they get up close with it and then it bites a lot. A search party is dispatched headed by the infected guy. The cobra is down someone’s throat in next to no time and they all run back to the ship.

Naturally anyone knocking on the back door is granted admission and a fight ensues, a fight won by the mission leader with her flame thrower. Somewhere along the line a girl performs her own caesarean section and removes a squid-like object. No one seems bothered that she is smearing blood everywhere. And these are scientists, right.

A very wrinkly old man (the mission funder), played by a youthful but heavily made-up Guy Pearce, arrives on the scene to examine an alien space craft that’s all set for lift-off with a cargo of alien goo. Pearce wrestles with another Engineer and comes off worse. Actually, why not just have a real old-man-actor? The Engineer is so angry he tears the android’s head off next. They all decide to jump in their spaceship and escape the mayhem.

After launch most decide to sacrifice themselves by flying into the aliens’ craft as it takes off. One girl sensibly stays behind to try her luck in the obligatory escape pod. Remember the squid? Now it’s swollen to a crazy size and sets too with an Engineer. I forget which ship they are on or if it even matters.

Bottom line, this is beautifully filmed and the effects are outrageous but don’t expect an iota of common sense. All that glitters is not gold.

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