Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Admirable Quests and Breasts in 3D

Travelers, mystics and scientists have something in common. They seek to understand life. In the film Prometheus, a smug heartless droid (Michael Fassbender) boasts he has no need for answers to the big questions: Where do we come from? What's our nature / purpose? Where are we going? A vulnerable spiritual woman (Noomi Rapace) responds, "I guess that's why I'm a human and you're a robot."

True enough. When people stop searching for meaning to simply eat, shop and screw away their days, they're somewhat diminished. Likewise, this movie is less compelling for viewers disinterested in such reflections. However, philosophical ponderers will dig it.

The big life questions are framed by huge life forces. Unprovable faith struggles with unbearable doubt. Hard-edged technology contrasts with soft-curved femininity. The beautiful chaos of nature resists the stressful grid of corporate order. Fascination with the unknown recoils at the slimy, tentacled alien. (Attention earth women: my slimy tentacle means you no harm and merely requests permission to come aboard your vessel.)

In Greek mythology, humanity was created and then empowered with fire technology by the immortal Prometheus. So, we're children of a lesser god. That's more than a darwinist mind can rationalize but less than a creationist heart would desire. This "science fiction" film may contain too much balance to make anyone happy. Apparently, someone forgot to tell director Ridley Scott that movies are supposed to be entertaining not just enlightening.

With this review, we say bon voyage to Ray Bradbury, who pioneered science fiction literature and spoke out loudly for human freedom against encroaching technological and governmental control of our lives. Rest in peace.

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