Wednesday, June 13, 2012

SF Knitting Gritty: Prometheus

I'll admit it, the lazy curmudgeon in me decided I didn't care if I saw this movie in the cinemas or not. I flattered myself that I was being cynical and jaded. But this evening when Peryton kicked a cat off the bed to lay down next to me in my final fits of diurnal sleeping, I am a wise enough man to know when it's time to mix things up a bit. So as I woke up, I suggested, "Let's go see Prometheus."

Can't say it was a waste of time at all. Besides the wife always cheering up whenever she sees Idris Elba, I was treated to Ridley Scott breaking out of the "Uber-Serial Killer In Spaaaaace" motif and inventing the space opera for the teen years of this century. It starts with bubble-helmets and gets better from there. Granted I didn't get to see Kate Dickie naked, which I am getting used to after seeing her so more often than my own wife lately after watching so many films with her in them this last Winter, but the space ships made up for it.

I didn't see the touted weakness of the film being that Scott was just rehashing Aliens once again. I saw nuts and bolt science fiction. Scott has a love-hate thing going on with the corporate world around him, I think. The film's corporate leader needs androids who are deceitful to others and servile to their masters. The corporate lackeys are self-serving and cowardly. At the same time, the hourly help is very capable if a bit culpable in the wrongdoings going on around them. Those infested with the infestation weren't just fleshpot victims, like the original, they were fighters. The survivors even keep fighting. While obvious homage scenes to 2001: A Space Odyssey were all over the place, this movie had more in common with Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. That is if the earlier films principles about the Laws of Robotics and reasons why man is driven to explore were turned on their head. As with any Ridley Scott film, this movie is a morality tale. This time he mixes it up a bit and just goes ahead and intertwines the foibles of many of the characters into a straight up take on most of the Seven Deadly Sins. Lust ends up in the wind, rage crushed by its obsession, gluttony fulfilled and greed left empty. But the proud survive after their respective falls.

Not saying the nuts and bolts are without flaws, there are some of the worst research methods I've ever witnessed in all but the most B-rated mad science movie. Still the scenes held together, without any cheap "gotcha" startle clips. Overall a King Kong of a motion picture.

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