Prometheus – Review
Ridley Scott jumps back into the “Alien” franchise with what can be best described as a prequel of sorts to the original Alien film. Prometheus is a film that builds onto, and attempts to answer questions about vaguely hinted origins. Make no mistake though, Prometheus is not a “by the numbers” walk in the park sci-fi. It’s deep, intelligent, and open to speculation.
A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
For over three decades Ridley Scott has directed some of the most memorable films in history. Blade Runner, Legend, Black Rain, Gladiator, and of course Alien, are just a few of his best in what can be easily described as a very diverse, genre leaping career. He has bested sci-fi, horror, fantasy, action, drama, and historic, with top rated titles in each category. Prometheus is no different. Scott is one hell of a great director and he knows how to get what he wants… and he knows how to make it work! Prometheus is layers of brilliance that forces you to think. It doesn’t just serve up aliens and conflict, there’s religious tones complicated by mortality and our own basic humanity.
There’s a lot of great talent in Prometheus. Noomi Rapace (original Millenium trilogy) has the makings of the next Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). Quick on her feet, and tough as nails… even if it did feel a little unrealistic at times. Charlize Theron is good, but her character feels a little under developed. There wasn’t much to his character, but I really liked Idris Elba… the final scene with him and his crew was among my favorite scenes in the movie. In the end, there were a lot of good performances in Prometheus, but for me, Michael Fassbender easily stole the show as David, another Weyland android… following in the footsteps of Ian Holm (Alien) and Lance Henricksen (Aliens). His performance is cold and calculating, but not without a subtle and somewhat likeable personality.
The effects on Prometheus are incredible. The opening scene where the alien is standing on a cliff as the black goo devours his body, is beautifully done. There are at least five creature designs throughout the film. The humanoid Engineers, the snake like creatures in one of the ship’s chambers, the fetus pulled from Shaw’s stomach, the full grown face hugger… which is pretty damn cool, and the final alien… which to me was a little underwhelming for such an iconic character. The ship designs both inside and out are amazingly detailed and the Prometheus ship itself is awesome… I believe Hot Toys out of Japan has the license to do the ship, if so, I’m down for it!
No matter how good Prometheus is though, it’s not quite a perfect film. There are scenes that defy common logic. One scene in particular involving one of the science officers reaching out to touch an alien snake creature like it was a puppy, screams someone forgot to read the idiot’s guide to alien contact. Then there was Noomi Rapace’s speedy recovery after having a rather large alien pulled from her stomach. I mean seriously, it was the size of a small bowling ball, then her abdomen is stapled shut. After that she proceeds to take more hits than a football receiver through the remainder of the film. It’s somewhat easy to dismiss this stuff to better enjoy the film, as it’s used to push the story forward… and of course it looks great, and it’s shot really well. When the credits role though, you are left with a little bit of that glass half full feeling. Prometheus could have easily had another half hour pinned to the film as it does feel a little incomplete at times (story wise). I had to read a lot of articles and interviews to fully get it before I saw it a second and third time. Rumor has it, there’s at least an additional 36 minutes of the finished film that we haven’t seen. If that’s the case, I can’t wait to see the Blu Ray release.
Prometheus is an amazing film and definitely fills a much needed gap for intelligent sci-fi. I give it an 8.5 solely due to the fact that it feels a little rushed and incomplete at times. Sometimes just a little hand holding is necessary. If we get the extra footage on the Blu Ray release, and it brings it all together into a slightly more cohesive package, I’d easily bump this to a 10. For sci-fi fans, Prometheus is fantastic film linked to one of the most iconic sci-fi creatures ever brought to the screen. For it’s relation to the Alien franchise, that alone makes it worth seeing.