I could go into a deep deconstruction of the newest Ridley Scott film in terms of its failure to make sense of its title, its mysteriously murky visuals and its utter refusal to offer anything like an intelligent script.
I could kvetch for weeks about how Scott seemed to proceed without inspiration—and this is the man who gave us two of the milestone scifi films of all time, Blade Runner and Alien (the latter is arguably a “perfect” film, along with the first two Godfathers and the first and third Indiana Jones.
But really it comes down to a weak story line and truly wretched casting.
With due apologies for the original girl with the dragon tattoo’s street cred, she’s no Signourney Weaver. With her matte emotions and fixed expressions, Noomi Place takes me absolutely nowhere. And she is intended to rouse our passions as the next savior of earth, the universe and every other final frontier. No cigar folks.
Ditto a leaden Charlize Theron. And all I can think about the “males” in the cast is that they must be either related to, or “involved with” the film’s producers. How else can one explain the gesturally-challenged Logan Marshall-Green as Place’s short-lived (thank God!) love interest and leading testosterone-bearer?
No chemistry whatsoever occurs between any of the actors in this film. Wooden love-scenes, fictitious repartée—even anger feels flaccid. I got the strong impression that even with a script by Nora Ephron these particular B-minus actors would have trouble working up a believable exchange.
A moment of delicious irony occurs for viewers when they realize the inter-textual (as Vivian Sobchack would say) reference to HAL, in 2001 that is created by Michael Fassbender’s eerie android character, George. But to kvetch on. Idris Elba is no Yaphet Kotto, and the two clowns sent out to scout the mysterious cave/space ship couldn’t carry the dirty laundry of Harry Dean Stanton or John Hurt.
Have I made myself clear? To be fair, it would be impossible for even mega-director Scott to match the sheer cinematic surprise, the unprecedented nature of his deeply claustrophobic and terrifying Alien. Comparisons are probably simply a fool’s game.
So I am folding my cards on this one. Let’s just say that I was bored to oblivion by this film, despite its moments of breathtaking scenery (thank you Icelandic glaciers) and occasional bursts of dramatic energy (thank you Noomi for that self-activated foetal extraction).