The difference between (most) literary science fiction and (most) sci-fi film is the depth of ideas portrayed in the material, as well as the use, in the latter, of specific visuals and not the audience’s imagination.
Prometheus begins with a standard but solid literary SF premise – scientists searching for the origin of life – but ends in a typical sci-fi movie fashion. Between these are some of the most stunning visuals yet in a sci-fi film. Computer generated imagery has finally allowed movie effects to mimic the realism and detail of the human imagination, save for Guy Pearce’s horrible old man makeup.
Unfortunately, once the opening and thematic question is abandoned the film becomes, essentially, a retread of Alien. Certain set pieces are tremendous, the surgery is unrealistic but intense and innovative, but too much of the plot is intentionally held back for the obvious sequel.
While the visuals may approximate the depth of human imagination, the ideas remain millennia behind. [subscribe2]
I agree: visually stunning, gorgeous soundtrack, weak writing! Too bad, yet I bought it because it is gorgeous to watch: & why is David's the only character that is well devloped? Hmmmm?
Nice to hear from you again, Eileen! Well, if they were gonna develop just one character, I'm glad it was David 'cause I'm a big fan of Michael Fassbender! 🙂 I can understand buying a movie disc purely for the visuals. Some movies that I personally really like are like that. 'Silent Hill', for example. Confusing story but some of the best visuals in a contemporary horror film.
The sad fact is that round characters and compelling narratives are much harder to make than mind-blowing effects. Throw enough money into the budget and any movie can have the most stunning visuals yet filmed, but movie money can't buy pathos or humanistic traits. So it's easier to just develop the effects and the robot who doesn't have to have things like feelings.
Plus, *SPOILER ALERT* in the tradition of Alien movies only one character lives. She can be developed in the sequel. Everyone else is cannon fodder anyway.
Thanks for the response!
I did like the character of Shaw, though, in addition to David, and look forward to her further (hopefully) development. And I thought Charlize Theron's character, though not fully developed, had some interesting potential. But, yeah, everyone else was, as you say, cannon fodder. Or maybe alien bile fodder, parasite fodder and flamethrower fodder, in this case.