Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Beware of Prometheus spoilers ahead.
Well, as promised I saw Prometheus again last night -- this time in IMAX.
Again, the visuals are so spectacular and immersive as to be worth the price of admission solely on their own. As for the story and the issues I had with it after seeing the movie the first time, many still remain, although I admittedly have a better feeling about the film overall having watched it carefully for a second time.
For one, I like David's character much better now and kind of let myself simply go with the flow when it comes to his motivations throughout the course of the movie. I think the giveaway when it comes to how David thinks and behaves comes when Charlie tells him, just before being dosed with alien goo, "You're not a real boy." David is at all times behaving like a curious child, one who does things simply to see what the outcome is; I'm not sure his agenda is much more complicated than that.
I actually found the storyline to be even more frustrating when trying to apply the lengthy analysis offered up by that one blogger who's now found himself to be the Rosetta Stone among confused Prometheus viewers. The bottom line is that in spite of all the mythological and religious inferences he gleaned from the film, the whole thing still didn't really make a lick of sense. And that's where I think the main problem lies -- in trusting in the meaning behind the movie. I'll put it like this: I like films that ask big questions and that don't provide complete answers. I like being made to think and feel and to even ponder endlessly and futilely. But I have to believe that I'm not simply being played -- that the writers and filmmakers had some idea what they were doing and weren't just throwing a lot of tenuously connected shit at the wall in the hope that something would stick and it would therefore all come off as intelligent and deep. I can't help but think that Lindelof's track record puts him in the latter category; I think he just grabbed onto a lot of quasi-Christian references (Shaw's cross and faith, the fact that it's Christmas, the Engineers being dead for 2,000 years, David washing Weyland's feet, etc.), metaphysical mythology (the prevalence of self-sacrifice, the dying king refusing to give up power, etc.) and references to the original Alien canon (the xenomorph mural, the early facehugger, the alien at the end -- which was admittedly still a lot of fun to see even if it made no real sense) and sledgehammered the story with them in an effort to seem profound even though he really had no idea what the hell he was doing or where any real connections were.
Finally, yes, the characters were as dumb, listless and unlikable as they were the first time around. Although I did consider that these qualities may have answered the question of why the Engineers want us dead.
Either that or they're just pissed that we've gotten to the point where we make movies like Prometheus and pretend that they're high art.