Alright it’s 2:51 a.m. – I’m a little wired here so I’ll do my best. Here we go.
Sequelitis is a modern and deadly plague of the film industry. Symptoms of which include the steady rise in gimmick which happens to coincide with a dramatic loss of decent writing and/or story. Films have a higher risk of being exposed to sequelitis during times of financial duress or box-office success. Essentially, all films are at risk. Take for instance, the Alien franchise. The first film was something new and exciting – the second allowed more creative and technical liberties, but never really held up to the first. Then it went downhill from there from re-writes to shameful plot-holes, then finally endured stage-four sequelitis and reaching the agonizing “Versus” phase. Finally death and all loss of credibility.
So far, there is no cure for sequelitis, but there is a treatment. This treatment does not mend the damage that sequelitis has caused but it can help restore the original faith there once was, providing that warm fuzzy feeling that audiences originally felt. This treatment is called a prequel, and it has a 50% success rate. Prometheus falls in that upper 50%.
At first I was completely skeptical. When we first meet the crew of the Prometheus ship, we have our standard set of characters who we don’t really care about anyway because we know that they’re going to be alien-chow.
I mean seriously, look at this guy:
Then of course they’re led by a frigid no-nonsense commander (played by Charlize Theron) who has no interest in the scientific possibilities of the mission. Seriously, why are the same characters in every science fiction movie? However, these cardboard cut-outs simply let the real stars shine through – those being Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and the android David (Michael Fassbender). These two are practically the only people worth watching in the film, being that they’re the ones who have the most substantial development – and one isn’t even human!
As the film rolls along, the focus is more on survival and good old fashioned intense thrills, allowing one to put the characters on the back-burner. Prometheus becomes a film purely of intrigue and wonder – an apt beginning to the evolution of Alien – the film and the species.
Yet it still left me curious and wanting more. I want the answers. Being that the film is based on the quest for knowledge, is that a clever marketing ploy or poor writing? Regardless, I am not unsatisfied by this work. I don’t even think I want a sequel. Please, don’t spoil this moment. Let me sit and wonder.
Final Grade: B+