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Prometheus: The Death of the Story

Prometheus: The Death of the Story

Jun 12, 2012

Before we go any further – Spoiler Alert – spoilers contained in this article!

You have probably read several reviews by now about the terribleness that is Prometheus. Most of these reviews focused on the lack of logic/reason, the bad acting, the lack of actual aliens, etc, but I will focus on something which has been bugging me for a while now, whenever I go watch a movie.

It is the dying craft of storytelling.  This is epitomised by Prometheus. Ridley Scott has now joined Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay, on my list of famed directors that used to ‘wow’ us with visuals and take us on a journey of the imagination, but are now downright embarrassing.

E.T, Hook, Jurassic Park, Alien, Gladiator, Transformers I, The Island, The Rock, all examples of their works of glory. Then came Transformers II and III, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, War of the Worlds, I am Number Four. These are a few of the titles that are the bones in the growing pile of the story graveyard. This decline in the essence of movies is carried on in Prometheus.

Here are some examples of the drivel that the audience was spoon fed in Prometheus:

  • In the beginning we see an alien ‘seeding’ life on earth, but then we find out they actually hate us and want us dead; why even create us in the first place and why the change in heart?
  • The idiocy of the scientists in this movie is ridiculous, where one even attempts to touch a clearly hostile ‘alien-worm’ (which subsequently deep throats him to death); why the hell didn’t he quarantine it for study later?
  • A dead mutated scientist comes back to life and randomly starts killing people; why is that important to the story at all?
  • Most importantly, I would have never known that the ship was a weapon of mass destruction headed for earth, and only realized this when one of the characters told me it was; why didn’t the story lead me to this conclusion?
  • And, frankly, his conclusion that the ship was a weapon was an incredible leap because at the time, the character didn’t even know it was a ship or that it was bound for earth.
  • There were holographic projections of the history of the alien race, where they are seen running away from something chasing them, but just so happens they hide in the very room housing the frigging-evil-WMD-black-ooze that wipes out the crew of Prometheus?
  • When they retrieved a preserved  alien head, it explodes, why?
  • What was the significance of the captain getting into Charlize’s pants?
  • Then there was an Asian guy and his friend who kept joking about money owed on a bet? Who the hell were they? The story never developed beyond their stupid banter. They sacrificed themselves for humanity by crashing their ship into the alien craft, they must have be important, right? Yet, I had no idea who they were.
  • I could go on.

The craters in the story are not even a testament to laziness but merely, like so many seasoned directors these days, just boys with their toys. Ridley only cared  about the beautiful visuals (and they were beautiful) but frankly I would have taken a movie with Alien I graphics and a great story, over the 2-hour CGI clusterF*@% that is Prometheus.

It reminded me of the scene in Transformers III, where the audience spends thirty dreary minutes watching various characters fall around the inside of a collapsing building that is being destroyed by a giant mechanical worm. I’m sure it was a feat of some sort of graphics, but God – I was bored to tears.

I truly hope Steven, Michael, and Ridley will read the many seething reviews at their latest creations, and realize that they are murders of the story, successively raping the very soul of their movies with each hollow marketing creation.

The fact that on IMDB the viewer’s review was 7.8/10 truly shows how numb we have become.  Vacant onlookers being happy with pretty pictures and, like trained monkeys, clapping at the end. Maybe it’s time for these oldies to retire and get some fresh young blood that can actually capture our imaginations again with storytelling and well-crafted dialogue. Or maybe they just need to go watch a Quentin Tarantino movie for a refresher course. I don’t know. I just know I’m angry, and to echo various other critics: Prometheus was a crime and someone needs to go to jail for murder.

9 comments

  1. Craig /

    Bravo!

    I agree. The visuals were spectacular and when I walked out the cinema I was quite enthusiastic about all the things I’d seen. It was only when I got home and began to pick the story apart that I realised that I’d just been subjected to a pile of total nonsense. You hit the nail on the head. The only things weaker than the story were the characters.

  2. Chameleon /

    Absolutely agree..!

    Great Post..!

  3. richard /

    Hmmm, Might give this one a miss then!

  4. @gareththelx /

    Whilst I agree with some of what you’ve said around the demise of story telling, in favour of CGI, I must disagree with the majority of your article.

    Firstly, these directors were mostly overrated in the first place – idolized even. Perhaps you’re just beginning to see things more clearly.

    Secondly, I think you’ve mostly missed the point of the movie. Your first comment re: The Engineers seeding life on earth makes this painfully clear. This was one of (if not thee) critical plot point in the movie. In fact, even the “idiot scientists” thought to ask this question.

    With so many themes so obviously explored (religion/creationism, human nature/curiosity, greek mythology, etc.) I’m rather surprised you wanted more answers. My only criticism of this movie is that this was all handed to the viewer, with nothing was left unsaid, unrevealed, excepting your first point, of course.

  5. Graeme /

    Watch The Grey, it will restore your faith in movies that exist to tell a good story with interesting and developed characters.

  6. Levon /

    Richard – still worth seeing IMO, I think my expectations were too high. Reminds me of this from the Onion – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBM3j7x4Lcw

  7. Tristan /

    @gareththelx, “Themes so obviously explored”. There was no story, and seeming story is how we explore the themes of a movie, then it stands to reason that nothing was. Frankly, I’m surprised you clearly see so much in this movie, which was obviously not there.

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