1. Greek Mythology A Titan who stole fire from Olympus and gave it to humankind, for which Zeus chained him to a rock and sent an eagle to eat his liver, which grew back daily.
2. A satellite of Saturn.
tr.v. un·der·whelmed, un·der·whelm·ing, un·der·whelms
To fail to excite, stimulate, or impress.
Ridley Scott’s return to the world he created back in 1979 with the thrusting of Ripley and her battle against the Xenomorph’s came with a huge fanfare of film buffs all ready to once again exclaim that “Scott’s done it again” and the obligatory “Triumph” from any one of the many movie review magazines out there…
…and that’s where the problems begin. Overhype can be one of cinema’s biggest killers.
So it was with high expectations that I popped along to Cineworld on Wednesday with my brother-in-law in tow. Orange Wednesdays and Cineworld Unlimited card…a marriage made in movie heaven.
After sitting through an extra-long 3D Spiderman advert, which seemed wholly unnecessary after already seeing one about 5 minutes prior, Prometheus kicked in…and thus began the Underwhelm.
The story unfolds of the space explorer Prometheus, exploring a moon very much like our own Earth, at the centre of a cross-era map (no, not a map, an invitation) on which we find our central human characters searching for the meaning of life and an answer to the eternal question of Where do we come from?
Helping (or hindering) our humans is android David played by Michael Fassbender. Here the film really begins to touch on the links between this film and the Alien franchise. Can the ‘droid be trusted with the lives of mankind? Fassbender nails the robotic and emotionless David with a freakishly good piece of acting.
But David is the only character we ever really care about. Sure there’s some back-story to the enigmatic Meredith Vickers played by Charlize Theron and a little bit of foreshadowing surrounding the lead Elizabeth Shaw who is in the capable hands of Noomi Rapace, but other than that we have a whole set of 2D characters in 3D film.
Prometheus, for me, misses the mark by a long shot. In a movie which should be built on the fear and isolation of a far off world, there is very little tension and a couple of the set-pieces are actually quite laughable.
Yes there’s a pay off near the end and movie-geeks who have sought a few answers to the Alien quadrilogy may just find a little bit of resolution in the last twenty minutes, but all-in-all there’s so much more that could have been done with this film. It all ends up feeling a little flat and uninspiring.
No-where near Ridley Scott’s best work. Worth seeing if you’re a massive fan, but don’t expect anything amazing. Stunning special effects and a decent 3D offering might just be the helping hand in the Box Office stakes though.