5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Prometheus has landed. Ridley Scott has finally returned to the genre he helped define with Alien, which spawned a franchise of another three films (you could say another 5 if you included both Alien vs Predator films, but I’m not, so neither should you), which expanded sci-fi to new heights.
So, I know the question is on all of your lips, is it or is it not an Alien Prequel? Well, let me put it like this, if it was Batman Begins it would be what happened at Wayne Industries while Bruce was away. Relevant but not essential or directly linked. That’s the best metaphors I could come up with. There is a prequel-y bit, but it’s mostly self-contained.
That’s the last time (hopefully) that I’m going to mention Alien through this review. I’ve seen too many where they compare the two and that’s unfair. This isn’t Alien. If it was Alien it would be called Alien. And it’s not called Alien. This is Prometheus. I mentioned Alien a lot there…
The film features around a crew of 17 explorers who go looking for our beginning after a series of maps are located across Earth. Wayland Corp fund the expedition and believe this gives them the right to a hidden agenda. The crew set out for planet LV-223, but you know from the start (and maybe from a bad viral campaign, which did not ruin the film) this is not going to end well.
When watching the film, you can see why Scott took so long to return to the genre. He wanted to do it right and he really has. Every aspect of this film was meticulously planned and it’s so glorious. We begin on Earth, with an opening scene so strong it requires no dialog whatsoever. You know exactly what’s going on as you sweep across the most breathtaking landscapes you’ll see all year. Scott knows how to draw you in, making you feel like you’re actually there.
For such a vast film, we only see four locations throughout the movie. The ship, some tunnels, and two chambers (one inside another ship). None of that matters though because, one, they are visually stunning, and two, this film is about asking the bigger questions. Where do we come from? Who created us? What’s next?
It does this with such power that you will leave the screen asking yourself those questions. If doesn’t answer them for you, in fact, it asked even more, but that’s a good thing. It isn’t up to Scott to give us the answers; we have to find them ourselves.
The film was shot in 3D and that is how it should be watched. I kind of hate myself for saying this, but I would regret seeing it in just 2D. The scene where (and this is in the trailer) Michael Fassbender is surrounded by a hologram of the universe leaves you covered in goosebumps. All is revealed and you find yourself not breathing. Scott has taken this care with every single shot. The film has his name all over it.
But it’s Fassbender that steals the show. An android and a space exploration should not go together. He isn’t evil though, he’s just a child who can’t resist to push some buttons. His acting is superb throughout and you really connect and feel for him. He also has some whacking one liners that lift the film.
The rest of the cast does a great job too. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) is the only lead female character this summer and she does a fine job of flying the torch. Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) is a tough, stiff, robotic schemer with a lovely twist. Janek (Idris Elba) plays a ship’s captain perfectly, and you can count on him to always do the right thing. Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), well, he just wants to be Tom Hardy.
The rest of the cast, although they act well, aren’t particularly scripted well. They don’t have huge roles through the film and then just seem to turn into cannon fodder towards the end. The deaths are freaky and imaginative though.
Apart from that, this film rates very high on the list of must see films. I want to say it’s amazing but you might think that is cliché and that I’m just a fanboy who doesn’t know anything about cinema. But this film is a summer blockbuster that makes you think, a summer blockbuster that sees three guns fired throughout, a summer blockbuster that doesn’t need someone dressed in a cape to save the day. This isn’t just explosions and titillation. This is Ridley Scott at his best and there’s no stopping him.
The search for our beginning has only just begun. Expect more from this universe because it has so much more to deliver.