Prometheus (123 min, 15 cert, Dir: Ridley Scott)
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed our respective careers that the films of Ridley Scott have often resonated with my own life experience. From the Voight-Kampff test in Blade Runner that so closely resembles the lie detector used by Yorkshire when expense claims forms are handed in, to the car-over-the-cliff ending of Thelma & Louise that’s eerily reminiscent of our disastrous wooden-spoon championship campaign of 1983. It’s often felt like Scott was chronicling my life, all be it with less swearing about Devon Malcolm’s line and length.
His latest offering, Prometheus, is a prequel to the 1979 classic, Alien. I’m a big fan of that film, particularly the bit where someone gets the worst case of Delhi Belly I’ve ever seen, and the part where Sigourney Weaver starts paddling about in her undercrackers. I’m not so keen on the sequel, Aliens, which in my opinion was completely unrealistic. I understand a trip to the cinema involves a certain suspension of disbelief but how can an advance party of colonists expect to terraform a planet without bringing even the most basic groundskeeping equipment? The loam they found on that planet’s surface was far too sodden to produce any kind of bounce without a huge amount of pre-season preparation and yet there’s no sign of a heavy roller anywhere on their base. Ridiculous. It’s those kinds of plot holes that take you right out of the viewing experience.
So with mixed opinions on the previous films in the Alien franchise I approached Prometheus with an open mind, which, as you can imagine, is a rare thing for a Yorkshireman.
For this prequel to his original film, Scott takes us back about thirty years in time, a familiar experience for those of you who’ve tried in vain to purchase a chilled drink on a county outground, although in Prometheus man is in search of his own origins rather than some ice for his wife’s gin & tonic.
The story begins with a team of archaeologists discovering a star map hidden within a series of ancient cave paintings, which, to my untrained eye, looked more like Billy Bowden signalling a free hit. What followed made little to no sense at all, as our protagonists left the confines of Earth and travelled to the distant moon, LV-223, without making a single reference to the Bradford league. A shocking omission from such an experienced film-maker and all the more surprising after the way he had skilfully woven a Baildon v Bowling Old Lane match anecdote into Black Hawk Down.
Sad to say that this ludicrous oversight distracted me for the remainder of the movie. There was some guff about a lethal black liquid – which looks disturbingly similar to the stout they serve in the Traumatised Lamb at Cleckheaton – and once again crew members became unsuspecting incubators for an immensely dangerous, previously unknown life form. A storyline I interpreted as an allegory for how the West Indies tour of Australia in 1975/76 gave birth to their unstoppable pace attack of the next two decades.
However, none of this compensates for the fact that a much anticipated movie, with a budget of $120 million, contains nothing of interest for supporters of Pudsey Congs or Hanging Heaton. And how a film that purports to address the question of mankind’s origins can do so without mentioning the influence of the Bradford League’s formation in 1903 is a glaring omission.
Frankly the two hours I spent being disappointed by Prometheus could have been more enjoyably employed watching Geoff Boycott get into double figures.
Overall: A thumbs down from me.