Prometheus Movie Review (Ridley Scott Special)
Prometheus is one of the most controversial sci-fi mysteries of 2012, a spin-off of the popular Alien franchise, it serves as a form of prequel to the first Alien film. This is Ridley Scott’s return to the genre after a long absence.
Genre: Horror / Mystery / Sci-Fi
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Benedict Wong, Emun Elliott & Guy Pearce Runtime: 124 min. US Release: 08 June 2012 UK Release: 01 June 2012 German Release: 09 August 2012
Ridley Scott’s third science-fiction movie is a return to the mythical world of chest-bursting creatures. Though not a direct prequel to the Alien films, it did focus on the mysterious beings known as “Space Jockeys” from the first Alien. Despite missing some of the suspenseful storytelling when comparing it to the aforementioned film, it is still one of the most visually stunning science-fiction experiences I have made. It also solidified my belief, that Scott is best at doing sci-fi.
Critics received Prometheus with mixed responses. While the visuals, effects and acting (especially Fassbender as David) had been praised, the movie was criticised for having plot holes and unresolved story elements. Personally, although not as good as Alien or Blade Runner, I found Prometheus to be one of the better films by director Ridley Scott and found those unresolved plot elements, to give the film that mystery other classic sci-fi’s have.
— WARNING, THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! —
The story revolves around a team of scientists in 2093, who after uncovering clues to a stellar map in cave drawings, follow the trail back to a distant planet. Led by archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Marshall-Green), the expedition team found out that the human race did not evolve naturally but was rather created by another race of extraterrestrials.
On their trip to the Planet labelled LV 223, funded by the Waylan Foundation, the crew and expedition members travel in stasis while David (Fassbender), an android, monitors their vitals and shows a keen interest in Dr. Shaw’s dreams. Once they reach the planet, the team wakes up and scans the surface finding an unusual landmark.
As the Prometheus lands, Shaw and her team enter the landmark and find out they are in an alien spaceship. From here on onwards a horror story unravels, that includes a black and gooey substance they identify as a biological weapon, rewriting the DNA of anything that touches it. David also finds a living Creator (the name given to the extraterrestrials), who turns out to be a malignant race on their way to attack Earth.
In my opinion, the story and script were the weakest aspects of Prometheus. It featured ideas, I thought did not mesh well with the rest of the movie and other parts had been rushed to get the main plot on course. Still, it was very entertaining and philosophical.
Beginning with the positive parts of the story, I need to praise the deep and very esoteric plot of this film. The title Prometheus is not only the name of the ship in this sci-fi spectacle, but in mythology, he was the creator of mankind. This is what drives the movie, a scientific expedition searching for the creators of humanity, to ask the ultimate question; why have we been created? What is the meaning of life?
I also liked the fact that we don’t get all the answers, it made the movie even more attractive. A lot of people were complaining about it, demanding more answers and ties to the Alien franchise, but I found it to be one of the best aspects of the film. It was a strong standalone film that played in the same world as Alien and left some mysteries for us to think about.
The main problem I had with Prometheus though, was the rushed beginning. It felt like the production team wanted to go through the introduction as fast as possible to take us back into space. I found that to be annoying, as I was interested to see more about Shaw’s work and her findings on Earth.
The cast was fantastic, with Michael Fassbender stealing every scene he was in. His portrayal of the android David was one of the best I have seen. Noomi Rapace was equally brilliant as Elizabeth Shaw, her strong and independent character reminded me of Weaver’s Ripley. The only problem I had was with Marshall-Green’s acting.
Dariusz Wolski did a brilliant job as director of cinematography, the result being simply jaw-dropping! It looks like a painting coming to life, with strong cold colours used (such as tints of blue), that suit the atmosphere of the story. Prometheus uses a mixture of stunning wide-angled shots, such as the opening scene, and tension-building close-ups. In just a few short minutes, Scott manages to tell us that we are in for something bigger than expected, by just showing us a remarkable canvas of prehistoric Earth.
Using both practical and computer-generated effects, made this movie even more realistic. It was impossible to tell where the one ended and the other started, and it was pleasing to see that Scott did not overuse the CGI effects.
The musical score for this film was hauntingly beautiful and as epic, as the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It reflected everything this movie was about, a celestial expedition that turned into a horror trip. Marc Streitenfeld composed the music.
Verdict: Prometheus was the most beautiful-looking movie of 2012. It did have some issues with the story plot and the characters, but overall it was one of Scott’s finest movies. Though it does not count as one of my all-time favourites, I do enjoy watching it every now and then. I, therefore, give it a 7.5 out of 10 and do recommend buying it on Blu-ray.
Do you agree with my review? What did you like, or hate about Prometheus? This is my fore-last entry in my series of Ridley Scott sci-fi reviews that will culminate in tomorrow’s post of The Martian. If you are interested in my other reviews of this series, you can find them underneath.