I’ve waited 33 years for this film. Not sat in the corner, gently rocking but just patiently waiting for Ridley Scott to return to a film genre so brilliant portrayed by his last and only two attempts – Alien and Blade Runner. Both were superlative masterpieces of science fiction, both left the viewer struggling with the concepts contained within and dizzy from the visual beauty. Would it work again?
How 33 years have changed us. Both Blade Runner and Alien used space, light and the suggestion of fear of the unknown to entrance a patient viewer in to a script that moved slowly towards a finale. Watching Prometheus (with the added bonus of iMax and 3D) avoided everything except attention to visual details and violence. Gone were the terrors of the dark, the perpetual rain, the confined spaces, the unknown nightmares lurking around the next corner – in with the fast paced gore, weedy story lines and pale characters badly cast by accountants instead of artists.
In my heart of hearts, I’d like to think that Scott was responsible only for the genius of David8, the “replicant” robot struggling to understand the human concepts of good and evil , the superb visual effects and the first hour of the film, when so much was promised – the usual Ridley Scott subjects – Evil corporations, replicants and robots, genetics, DNA, slave/masters and stunning creative sets. I can only assume he was promptly shoved off set in favour of a gang of 14 year gamers who took control of the rest of this wasted opportunity to explore so many of the concepts opened by the Pandoras Box of “who made us?” in favour of crash, bang and wallop and pathetic screenplay.
Was the film worth the wait? Of course not. Can it stand on its own? Possibly, if you hadn’t already worshiped at the temple of Alien (forget the rest of that franchise, no wait, add this to it) or Blade Runner. Is it a great Sci Fi film? Yes, it probably is, but certainly lacks the depth of a Space Odyssey 2001. Is it worth seeing? Yes, it is, but only to speculate what a Ridley Scott, 33 years younger, leaner and fitter could have done with half the budget and twice the imagination – now that’s a thought.