Entertaining Phillips: Prometheus (2012), the rebuttal review
July 1, 2012 § 5 Comments
Today’s guest post comes from Rob Phillips, adding to the P-surnames. Mr. Philips is an educator by trade and film scholar by Master’s degree and former class mates w/ Peery)
I wanted to post a positive review since Mr. Platt, myself, and most others I know panned the film. Without further ado:
Ok, I finally got around to watching “Prometheus” today, read (Peery’s) review, and we had very different film experiences. (Peery) had major problems with the structure of the narrative. Me, not so much. Scott knows the rules of storytelling, so I will make the case that he is aiming at something else entirely because he knows most in the audience would look up the backstory before the film or on their phones waiting for the curtain. He takes the air out of the narrative and suspense, not because he doesn’t know better.
This is a film in the hands of a director that is an expert at shaping an audience’s emotional experience. For this reason, I will argue the film’s aim is much larger in that Scott may be thumbing his nose at being pigeonholed by fan/audience expectations and has bigger ideological fish to fry. Only time will tell if this should’ve been a fall rather than a summer release. Like “District 9,” this iteration of the series lights out for territories, as Huck did at the end Twain’s novel. She doesn’t want to go back, but rather “forward,” guided by some idealistic or Platonic notion about truth.
This film, like a lot of sci-fi stuff these days, strikes me as social/political allegory. Corporate, consevative, and typical pragmatic ideology crashes and burns or is thoroughly squashed (Theron and her stab at her Lear-like father). The ideology of hope, idealism, and faith in mankind prevails when they hurl a trillion-dollar spacecraft at an alien ship. The betting crewmembers and the “I-just-drive-the-ship” Captain sacrafice themselves for the betterment of humanity and become emblematic in so doing. From each according to his ability? The film strikes me as making a profoundly Marxist commenatary (dare I say in the form of a thinly-veiled “morality” play) that drives a stake in the heart of the “ethics” of greed and corporate ideology governed by said ethos.