Surprises could go either way. Depending on the audience, a particular surprise could prove welcome or an utter waste. If you’re in the business of marketing films, it’s even harder to figure out what the right play is. There really isn’t any time for trial and error.
Thus the world was treated to the 20th Century Fox short film “Prologue: Last Supper”, which even for an unusual marketing strategy, is the perfect way to be introduced to a bunch of new characters. I’m a little sad it’s not your standard trailer, but seeing as this isn’t the first time the company took a different approach to marketing (see: “Prometheus”), I’ll take it! It’s fun and told me everything I needed to know.
A Tale Of Happier Times
As far as short films go “Last Supper”, while not containing any horror elements, sets up a surprisingly and perfect happy life for the characters filmgoers will see be terrorized by a familiar monster come May 19. If this had been all fans had gotten (instead of a feature film), I think they would’ve been fine with that. Sometimes all you need is to satisfy a craving, is a little taste.
The characters are all preparing to enter cryosleep and so, as anyone would no doubt do, a final meal before this venture is a must! Within this I discovered the main reason I’m going to enjoy seeing these characters. It’s a close knit unit and nothing seems forced or awkward. If in a few minutes time I can enjoy them together, just think about how I’ll respond when seeing them in the feature film, where so much more is at play and stake. This cast is huge! I think it may be the biggest cast for an “Alien” film since the third film. All of them before seemed to be pretty small, which really did benefit the story at large.
While I’m certain the cast’s chemistry will be good and help me get into the film, I’m cautiously optimistic about what I’ll learn about the individual characters. Whatever is or isn’t revealed about any of them, getting just a superficial look could actually work. I could be wrong, but I feel that most of the films in the franchise never truly explore the characters backgrounds. If you get anything at all, it is in that superficial and nice way or it truly just benefits the overall film’s narrative. It’s the reason why the characters in “Prometheus” took on such a dangerous mission in the first place.
While I don’t know many of the characters names, or I’ve simply forgotten them, at this moment, as I type away, I’m okay with that. Not only did I see them all interact together, but I could get a very good feeling for who they are individually. I don’t have to wait and wonder! I can go in with absolute certainty of who they’ll be and, more or less, what they’ll bring. Mind you, I can’t tell you which ones will be responsible for making one bad choice after the other, but that’ll be where the actual film becomes fun, among other things, I’m sure.
While a short film is typically for open and closed stories, this was just refreshing. As far as I can recall, not many films lead with a short especially as a means of teasing fans. Which is what makes me sad about this film too. After Ridley Scott’s last film about the origins of the Xenomorph, it seemed that every other film wanted to approach marketing the same way. After a while, it just got exhausting. In some ways, I hated “Prometheus” because of this. I guess time will tell if this becomes a thing. Hopefully not, as there’s a big difference between cutting a teaser for a teaser trailer, and creating a wholly independent film that bridges or fills in gaps that fans would truly appreciate.
Originally Released: Feb. 22, 2017
Director: Luke Scott
Conceived: Ridley Scott and 3AM
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby and James Franco