Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron
Directed by Ridley Scott (Alien)
Rated R for sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language
When Ridley Scott set out to make Prometheus, he was very adamant that this was not a prequel to his 1979 film Alien but rather more of a connected film. That being said, I think that the millions of Alien fans out there, like me, were hoping that he was just saying that to trick us.
I have very fond memories of Alien and Aliens. When I was about 8 I was at a friends house where the adults were watching Alien and the kids were watching some animated film in another room. I snuck out and hid where I could see Alien without the adults noticing and I loved it. When I was 15 my grandfather took a tongue lashing from my mother for taking me to see the R-rated Aliens in theaters, where once again I fell in love with the strange and extremely scary universe. As I sit and write, I can see the lamp where an Alien is crawling out of it’s lighted pod. I mention this only because I was hoping for an actual prequel to the Alien saga out of mere nostalgia, when I should have taken Scott for his word.
Prometheus begins with what we can assume is our very distant past as an Alien creature (who will later be known as one of the Engineers) sacrifices himself near a waterfall (on earth perhaps) only to have his DNA transform in the water. What does this mean? I’m sure that will be debated for years to come, but one thing is for certain: it is vital to the plot of the film. Jump to our near future where archeologists discover proof that our possible creators have given us coordinates to a distant star system with who-knows-what as their intention. The archeologists join a team of scientists as they travel to the distant moon where they think their makers have invited them to visit.
Any more information might give away too much, and since I don’t like to be a bearer of spoilers, I will stop with the description of the story.
So the question most of you are asking has to be “is it good?” Leaving the theater my answer was “I’m not sure but leaning towards disappointed.” Most of my opinion was based on two observations. First, being a fan of the fear I felt with the Alien films, I so badly wanted the movie to be scary and it wasn’t. Secondly, the movie is challenging to understand. That second point however is really now the reason why I am beginning to like it. This is not a surface-level film. Nothing is said or done without reason. There is subtext and mystery behind almost every word and action, making this truly a thinking man’s (or woman’s) film. My advice is to especially pay attention to the relationships between the android David and the humans. While Noomi Rapace is certainly seen as the main character of the movie, Michael Fassbender’s David is equally as important.
Visually the film is stunning and thankfully the 3D enhances it. The special effects team has a lot to proud of here. The only part of the production that didn’t work for me was the mixed score by Marc Streitenfeld and Harry Gregson-Williams. Streitenfeld’s pieces fit the tone of the film, but Gregson-Williams’s seemed out of place, like they belonged in a WWII film rather than a sci-fi epic.
The acting is, for the most part, pretty good. Michael Fassbender turns on the creepy charm and Noomi Rapace, in spite of some strange sounding accent switches, makes for a decent enough heroine.
The film does have some credibility issues however. After all, it’s hard to believe that a respected xenobiologist, renowned enough to be sent millions of miles into space, would just try to give a friendly petting to a potentially dangerous creature on a foreign planet. Also, it’s hard to imagine anyone doing serious running, even with an incredible adrenaline rush, directly after having a major surgery.
I think the thing I like most about this film is that it will spark many, many interesting conversations. So many people will have so many takes on the film and I am really looking forward to joining the debates. I also think that many people will have a copy my experience as they try to figure this one out. A-