Reel Reviews: More questions than answers

Prometheus is a film that promises answers and delivers few. In fact, it may only raise further questions.

  • Jun. 17, 2012 8:00 p.m.
A monolithic figure towers over the explorers of a distant planet in Prometheus.

A monolithic figure towers over the explorers of a distant planet in Prometheus.

In a not too distant future, an ancient archeological site is discovered that provides evidence enough to warrant funding a voyage to a distant planet.

A team of scientists on board the spacecraft Prometheus, are searching for what they hope are great answers to the great questions of life.

What they find might disappoint, if it doesn’t kill them first.

We say, “Go see this to discover the true origins of mankind.”

TAYLOR: Ridley Scott is back with a loose prequel to his Alien franchise.

Prometheus is a film that promises answers and delivers few. In fact, it may only raise further questions. However, despite some minor plot cloudiness and philosophical confusion, it is a good film, with action, scares, beauty and ugliness. It’s a good film, not great.

The things that keep it from being a great film are only to be discovered by those seeking meaning in the story. If you’re after a space exploration/alien threat film, it’s extremely similar to the original 1979 Alien, in substance, style, format and execution.

HOWE: When the Alien movie came out in ‘79 I was nine years old. My older brother got a copy of it from the local video store, and I watched it with him. It scared me senseless. Although Prometheus didn’t scare me like the original, it did give me that rush of excitement.

TAYLOR: There was a high level of excitement, although admittedly, I was ready to fall in love with this movie. “Disappointed” is not the right word for Prometheus, I enjoyed it quite a bit, it’s just that there were certain aspects to the story that did not compute.

HOWE: I think I get what your saying. I found myself jumping from this movie to the Alien movie in my head and some things just didn’t line up. I won’t say what they were because I don’t want to spoil Prometheus because it is a fine movie.

TAYLOR: I guess audiences should go into this fine science fiction film without expecting it having anything to do with the original Alien, yet still providing the same thrills. The problem is, under its surface is a subtext of deep, philosophical thought, that leads nowhere. I would have preferred an answer, to anything, even if it was, “nobody knows.”

HOWE: Maybe Scott left it that way for a reason –– to make us think, where did we come from? From God? From evolution? From a distant planet? Or could there be another reason? How about another chapter to this story? In the end I think die-hard Alien fans will still be seeking more answers to the riddle.

TAYLOR: As ancient alien theorists believe… no one should go to this movie expecting Alien, or Aliens for that matter. Let it stand on its own and watch it with your brain in neutral, you’ll enjoy it more. In space, no one can hear you make metaphors about mankind’s self-destructive nature. So the quest continues…

– Taylor gives Prometheus 3.5 impossibly quick surgical recoveries out of 5.

–– Howe gives it 3.5 oxygen tanks out of 5.

The film is currently showing at Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are both movie critics living in the Okanagan.