June 20, 2012

On Prometheus

Prometheus is an eye candy. The visuals and special effects are well done. The design of the space suits are unique and beautiful. The user interface to control gadgetries and machineries are good. And the star maps are marvelous. The photos shown are part of my favorite scenes in the movie.
Beautiful as its visuals may be, an eye candy is what Prometheus will ever be. It failed to live up to the hype. It will not be among the classic science fiction films such as Blade Runner, Solaris, The Matrix (1), Aliens, or The Fifth Element that one would watch (over and over again) for the sheer engagement of the mind, complemented with great visuals.
I thought the film was going to be smart, as projected by snazzy marketing tidbits such as Weyland's TED talk and great interactives. I felt cheated because when the film finally came out it had a lot of dumb moments. It had massive holes in the plot. The science was flawed in many instances, and the stupidity of all the characters distracted me throughout the movie. The promotional materials used to market the film seemed smarter than the actual film itself. Lastly, I am disappointed because it made scientists (astrobiologists and archaeologists) look like fools.
Although I am happy about the exoplanetary aspects of the film, it's just that Prometheus is hollow and is not inspiring at all. There's no enduring character to remember and no brilliant concept to keep.
But I do recognize the artistic aspect in the cinematography of the film. I am aware that one must not be taken in by all the fantastic visuals and one must look deeper into the analogies and metaphors expressed by the movie--that it tells of our endless yearning to search and know our beginning and our future. And yes I am also aware of the claim that there is a 'religious hidden message' in it. But whatever those messages were, or the metaphors therein, the film's attempt to express them utterly failed.
Besides, I do not agree with panspermia--it will not answer our quest for the origin of life, so the idea that we were created by those burly but lame 'Engineers' was a wrong premise to begin with. Sure, the film gets merit for ending with a question (of who created our creators), but perhaps the film-makers should have started with that instead, rather than making this one which turned out to be a spectacular scifi incarnation of Dumb and Dumber.

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