Ridley Scott returns to the Sci-Fi genre after a period of nearly twenty years with a movie that is disguised as an action blockbuster but holds a great deal of lofty concepts and ideas about the creation of the human race. It evens spares a thought or two about Darwinism and religion; so how does it fare overall? Its failure lies in its glorious ambition.
In a prequel of sorts to Alien, the movie kicks off with a sequence that probably explains the origin of intelligent life on Earth to jump forward to Scotland in the year 2089 with two archaeologists, Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) & Charlie (Logan-Marshall Green) discovering a bunch of old cave paintings depicting a distant star system, which we are later informed were discovered in various archaeological sites from around the world too dating back to thousands of years. They match the locations to a distant star system and set out for the planet LV-223 on a mission aboard the spaceship, Prometheus, funded by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Elizabeth & Charlie hope to find the creators of mankind, while others on the ship like the android, David (Michael Fassbender) and company executive, Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) are in to protect the companys investment, at any costs. What they find at LV-223 is more than what they expect and maybe none of them might make it back alive or will some?
The movies plot is ambitious in its themes and ideas but oddly bland in generating suspense and delivering payoffs to plot points and concepts. I was intrigued by the back story it provides to the Alien movies but unimpressed by the horror and action elements of the film. Even the twist in the plot late in the film seems way out of place in a movie like this.
The movie excels at creating breath-taking vistas, be it on earth or on LV-223. The panoramic tracking shots are impressive to say the least, even of something as simple as the crews racing back and forth between the Prometheus and the large alien structures they discover. The effects too are brilliant to say the least, particularly when it comes to creating new worlds.
The movie has some pretty gruesome deaths and one caesarean carried out by a member on herself that is assured to have you shifting uneasily in your seat. Alien fans are for a treat towards the end, while the aliens shown in the movie resemble something closer to The Thing.
One of the highlights of Prometheus is undoubtedly Michael Fassbenders performance as the androgynous robot, David who watches Lawrence of Arabia and not only combs his hair like Peter O'Toole quotes lines from the film at the drop of a hat. He displays a childlike innocence but underneath all that runs a sinister streak that he beautifully conceals. He gets some of the best lines of the film. Idris Elba is the other standout as the nonchalant captain of the Prometheus. Noomi Rapace though good is no Sigourney Weaver and Charlize Theron is wasted. Guy Pearce is unrecognisable under layer of make-up.
Prometheus is an ambitious project that will be enjoyed more by fans of the Alien series than anyone else. It kind of answers a few questions from before and raises interesting ones of its own. Watch it for the amazing cinematography, special effects and Michael Fassbender.