(Published in The Sunday Guardian on 9 June 2012, retrieved from http://www.sunday-guardian.com/masala-art/a-titan-out-of-focus)
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron
Director: Ridley Scott
Rating: 2 stars
Prometheus is an experiment that can be thus described:
Aim: To spend $130 million on a fabulous-looking epic that will first fascinate audiences with magnificent visuals and ultimately fry their brains enough to foster dread of sequels.
Apparatus: The future (duh), two romantics looking for The Truth (one doting man who would sacrifice his life for his lover’s well-being, one strong-but-sexy woman-with-a-sad-back-story who will survive against all odds), one conceited hot chick who will die against all odds, a hardened soul who can be nudged back to life by strong-but-sexy woman, a handsome android, organic goop, creepy-crawlies, sci-fi staples such as beeping devices, blinking devices, holograms, machines with button-panels, glass and fibreglass, two nondescript men with less to do than the blinking devices, dialogues involving existential questions.
Method: First make a film that will take audiences by storm in 1979. Title it Alien. Drop hints in 2011 that the mysterious Prometheuswill be a prequel, but refuse to make concrete statements. Follow the same pattern for the filming of the movie.
Begin the film with beautiful waterfalls and breathtaking views that will guile audiences into thanking technicians for the invention of 3D cinema. Focus on a naked man with a Voldemort-like countenance and Doctor Manhattan-like body. Allow naked man to drink corrosive liquid for no good reason and plummet to a painful death.
Zoom forward to 2089, where cave paintings in Scotland excite the two romantics (Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green). Pitch forward to 2093, where a gazillion-dollar spaceship is 3.7 into 1014 metres or some such distance from Earth. Make resident android David (Michael Fassbender) tap into dreams and thus sad back story of strong-but-sexy woman.
Fill the rest of the film with sexcapades among sentries that will get risk-takers killed, random bets, creepy crawlies that grow into things that resemble procreative organs and gun straight for the mouths of accosting scientists, contagion that distorts organs, exploding bodies, painful invasive surgery, and New Agey Renaissance images such as The Vitruvian Man. Upon running out of trite lines like “big things have small beginnings”, make pretty graphics that will feed audiences false hope, and then horrify them with the promise of a sequel.
Precautions needed: If struck by the epiphany “Androids don’t need gas masks”, insert a line about androids striving to make humans feel comfortable around them by behaving illogically.
Result: A spectacular-looking film that makes no sense whatsoever. This reviewer suggests sci-fi fans knock themselves out; everyone else read Sartre.