A few of you asked me to post my thoughts on the Alien(s) prequel Prometheus, so I'll share 10 assorted thoughts and questions, with none of them particularly summative (I think). If you want my more global take on the movie, I fall somewhere between Roger Ebert's awe and Kenneth Turan's disappointment. I really enjoyed the movie (in some ways, more than the original Alien).
1. When critics say that the movie poses more questions than answers, they are right. It does. No, it doesn't quite make sense. Neither did Alien (or, frankly, Star Wars).
2. It is a colorful, and often bright movie. I was surprised by how the open shots of every planet felt so depopulated, but that even the most claustrophobic inside shots felt like they were full of life. The grandeur of space felt incredibly empty, and contrasted easily with the lived spaces of the spaceship Prometheus and the alien environments.
3. Do the Alien snakes descend from the earthworms that the camera briefly flashes before us? Is that what eventually turns into the nasty menace we see in the later films? If so, what role does the Engineer goop-weapon play? The simplest answer seems to be that the "Creators" created evolution, which overtakes them. Allegory, anyone?
4. Loved the Iceland landscapes. Great choice of location to film.
5. Noomi Rapace is great (as is Charlize Theron), but Michael Fassbender just steals every scene that he is in. I had a hard time NOT suspending disbelief in this cool, resentful android. Creepy, cold, and yet completely and believably human in his hubris and treachery.
6. It's interesting that this film is halfway between an epic adventure and a horror film. Almost every film in this series attempts a different genre (haunted house horror/war movie/thriller/adventure/etc.). I think this genre blending is where it mostly fails. Horror fans are disappointed, as are the epic fanboys.
7. Seeing The Avengers right after this film shows just how well made it is. It's certainly no Blade Runner, or even Thelma and Louise, but this a solid movie on almost all levels. Not transcendent, but just go to Battleship to show just how off the mark a big-budget CAN be. Readjust expectation.
8. Didn't see it in 3-D. Won't. Don't care.
9. I appreciate Scott throwing in two idiots to kill off first. It makes the rest of the carnage less difficult to stomach. It's a cheap thrill, but it shows that Scott isn't above appealing to the groundlings in all of us.
10. Even though the now-fameous self-performed C-section wasn't as horrific as I expected (it could hardly live up to what my mind conjured), the sequence that ensues elevates Dr. Shaw to the Pantheon of Badasses. Ripping one alien out of your body, surviving a meeting with her maker, and then surviving the destruction of not one, but two ships (all while we realize she is still probably leaking from her self-surgery) pretty much puts her in the Hall of Badassery. As far as I'm concerned, that should be enough--Dr. Shaw then insisting on going after the Gods who caused all of this mayhem pushes her to the front of the table. Bad. Freaking. Ass.