Prometheus was THE movie for me this summer. The one I’ve been craving for what seems like ages. The one that I drooled over after having seen that first trailer. When word came out that Ridley Scott was returning to the science fiction genre, I got goosebumps. It was an Alien prequel, and then it wasn’t, but it was going to be set in the same universe. Either way, I was happy. I just wanted a good sci-fi movie.
There was a lot of hoopla surrounding this film and once the marketing machine started up, it was hard to shield myself from the tsunami of….stuff that littered the web. Trailers, stills, clips, behind the scenes footage and lastly the viral marketing campaign. In an attempt to remain as spoiler free as possible, I stayed away from all of it, with the exception of the first trailer, and one I happened to see at the theater only a couple of weeks ago. I operate under the less-is-more theory. I don’t want to know anything because I prefer to let it all unfold while actually watching it. Which was a little hard considering the UK got the film a week before the States, but I prevailed. Finally Prometheus hit Stateside and to say I was excited would be a huge understatement.
Disregarding everything in regards to the xenomorphs, Prometheus instead follows the story of two archeologists, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Dr. Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) as they discover a series of similar cave paintings, created by different cultures, separated by millennia. The good doctors see these drawings as a road map to answers about the origins of life on Earth; a theory also shared by billionaire Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce). Weyland (of the Weyland Corporation) foots the bill for their research and sends the two doctors, along with a 15 person crew, aboard the spaceship Prometheus on a journey to LV-223 in hopes of finding answers. Once they arrive on the surface however, Doctors Shaw and Holloway soon discover that the quest to find the origins of life, may very well end up with the total destruction of Earth.
So…a new direction that is not related to the Alien, Aliens, or xenomorph story lines that much we knew already. BUT…since it is set in the same universe, and takes place prior to the events in Alien, there are some things that fans of the franchise, especially Alien, will see and get excited about. However that being said, those that only have a passing interest in the franchise, won’t really be missing anything from the wink-wink-nudge-nudge moments. Some references may seem as if the filmmaker went out of his way to say “oh hey….check it out….remember this??”, but overall I didn’t find them distracting. Thanks to the script written by Jon Spaigts (The Darkest Hour) and Damon Lindelof (Lost), the original story of Prometheus is able to stand on its own, although there may be some who find the crossovers irritating.
Ridley Scott stepped away from the sci-fi genre after Blade Runner. Say what you will about his other films (even though I’m probably one of three who actually liked Robin Hood), the man has a grasp of science fiction and he seems to have never left the genre. In an age where Hollywood feels the need to litter the theaters with films that overflow with style over substance, Scott managed to deliver a film that’s filled equally with both. You don’t need gigantic explosions taking place every 0.23 seconds in order to entertain, and Scott knows that. The worlds he created here are stunning and every set has a story to tell. But none of it matters without the cast.
This film has a deep bench with the likes of Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green (who looks like he could double for Tom Hardy) and Michael Fassbender. Even Patrick Wilson has a small role. While each member of the cast has a place in the story, and does their job translating that part to the screen, two actors really stand out. Michael Fassbender’s android David is by far one of the best representations I’ve seen. Like Ash and Bishop, he’s the artificial humanoid who seems to have a separate agenda. His stoic (and rather menacing) portrayal is mesmerizing as well as calmly frightening, but then again, I find Fassbender mesmerizing in any role. Noomi Rapace, who had the most demanding role, delivers an incredible performance especially during one particular scene that outshines all of the brutality she had to endure while filming the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy.
I normally take a day or two to really digest a film before I review it. Unless it’s really really bad and I feel the need to warn off others ASAP. Today marks four days since I’ve seen Prometheus and I still don’t have a solid feeling toward it. I can praise the film and all of its aspects because I can appreciate it for the art that it is. However, I didn’t love it as much as I was hoping to. I didn’t hate it, or even dislike it for that matter either. I just sort of…..liked it, which makes it a bit of a conundrum for me; praising something I didn’t entirely love with my whole heart. Perhaps a second viewing is in order to grasp everything that the film has to offer. Or maybe a second viewing is in order simply because there isn’t much science fiction out there these days. Which as far as I’m concerned is a damned shame.
If you’re hoping for an action film in a space setting ala Aliens, this probably isn’t the film for you. While there are some scenes that are tense, the action is much more subdued here. If you’re looking for a meditation on the origins of life in a futuristic setting, you’ll probably enjoy this one. Either way, this film is something that both camps can debate and talk about which can be just as entertaining or more so than the actual film.Tags: Alien, Charlize Theron, Damon Lindelof, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Jon Spaigts, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Prometheus, Prometheus review, Ridley Scott, xenomorphs