Promethus, are you seeing this?
Being a huge fan of Ridley Scott's Alien, I was stoked when I heard he was returning to the scifi universe, making a quasi-prequel to the original masterpiece. With such a great cast on board, including the original girl with the dragon tattoo Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elpa, and Guy Pearce, the thrilling, teasing, trailers, and the return of H.R. Giger, I didn't see how this could go wrong at all. I was expecting a masterpiece, Ridley Scott's return to form. What I got was anything but.
To say that Prometheus is bad would be harsh, in fact it's not bad at all. It's sloppy and underdeveloped, which can sometimes be even worse. The movie has so many pacing issues, where Alien slowly and methodically built tension and atmostphere, Prometheus just happen, almost in a disjointed way. Is this Scott's fault? No. It's the script that undoes the entire film.
Truth be told I never really wanted to know the origin of the space jockeys, and unfortunately now I do. The fact that the audience didn't know what the hell these giant beings were, nor did the characters in the first film, made them all the more fearful. Here they look like albino wrestlers with black eyes. That's not want I wanted, I didn't want to know their origin, but in this day and age it's inevitable.
But let's take the positives into account. First off, Noomi Rapace is once again fascinating to watch, bringing much dempth to a rather one note character, she's a worthy successor to Weavers Ripley. But it's Michael Fassbender who grabs the attention and elevates every scene he is in. His early moments on the ship, as Fassbender's David wonders around the lonely ship is one of the highlights of the film. The rest of the cast, however are hit and miss, to no fault of their own. They weren't given a lot to work with script wise, so I can't really blame them. Theron, as the hard ass overseer of the project does her best, but we've simply seen this character many times. Idris Elba as the captain is also entertaining. The weakest link is Logan Marshall-Gray, pretty to watch, but not entirely captivating. As for the rest of the cast, they are simply pawns in the grand scheme of things, because of course in a film like this we need random characters for the baddies to destroy.
Also great is the production design, cinematography (the opening sequence is a highlight), and some wild special effects. There are also some creepy, sometimes full-blown intense moments of alien horror. (A scene involving a certain medical procedure is heart pounding.)
Ultimately, though, I felt as if I had watched an unfinished version of the film. I feel there was a lot of footage cut out which could have fleshed out the stories and characters a bit more, in fact it's obvious.
Is the film worth watching? Definitely, but I suggest you just wait for the Bluray. A sad semi-dissapointment, Prometheus is punctuated by moments of visual grandeur, and slimy monstrous attacks. As for whether it lives up to the hype, no. But I know there is some great film in there, but for now you'll just have to settle for this.
One more thought. the final scene of Prometheus is so tacked, and feels like it's there just to connect the mythology.