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This film had such promise but failed deliver on almost every level. I am a huge fan of the Alien films and was very excited about this film on the concept. However by the half way point I was regretting watching it and had a sinking feeling that this was not going to get any better.
The film suffers from plot holes you could drive a truck through (The multi-trillion dollar mission is based on a thesis that is based on no proof other than some cave paintings and some religious waffle) and meaningless plot points that should even have the most casual film watcher scratching their heads (a medical pod in females quarters that is only set up for male surgery?).
I will admit that the film looks amazing but that seems to be what has caused the main problem. So much has been put into making this look impressive that no one seems to have read the script to check it makes any sense.
I wouldn't bother with this again.
Ridley scott returns to the sci fi genre. "Alien" the movie that he directed gave him the recognition of being a great director. The film starts with a map being found in Scotand by two scientists. The map gives an idea where a planet is in the universe. The scientists believe the picture and map will lead them to their answers. And that when they reach this destination, they will find the beings that created life on earth. A ship and crew is assembled, the ship being called Prometheus being the title for the movie. The ship is filled with an interesting team of people. We have scientists, geoligists, security and flight officers. It reminded somewhat of the movie Alien with similar scenes. But, this film is much better, brings cgi right up to date from the movie "Alien" and all its sequels. On board the ship is also a robot that looks human, played by Michael Fassbender. His performance is just brilliant, convincing and also dark. There is also an excellent performance by Noomi Rapace. Most of the cast was pretty unknown to me, which made this film more real.
They arrive on the planet and land before going into a large structure of a cave. They then find that there were aliens there. The film is filled with the best visual effects, but not overdone. The direction from Scott is at his very best. There are also some dark twists and turns to this movie, which makes it very much a sci fi horror flick. By them entering the cave and after discovering aliens there, they affect something in it. They panic and head back to the ship but face a storm. Not to give too much away, the film is in a way simple, the story anyway. But the visual effects, performances and direction is so well done, that it beats any sci fi film I have ever come across. Teamed with an excellent soundtrack. If you haven't seen it, you should!
When Ridley Scott announced that he was returning to the Alien universe, it instantly became one of the most hotly anticipated movies of the year. When the end result - Prometheus -hit the cinemas, opinion was more divided. It's not hard to see why. Prometheus might be set in the Alien universe and feature the original director, but it's a very different beast indeed (pun definitely intended).
Set approximately 20-30 years before Alien, the film sees the ship Prometheus set out on a mission to a distant planet where scientists believe they will discover the creators of the universe. Landing on a barren alien planet, they do indeed discover evidence of a long-dead civilisation... although some of it might not be quite as dead as they think.
On first viewing, a lot of people were unsure what to make of Prometheus. Was it an Alien prequel? A companion piece? Or just a film by the same director with a similar theme? In a way, answer is "all of the above" and that is both Prometheus' strength and its weakness.
The return to the Alien world is certainly a welcome one, and Ridley Scott is able to realise more of the vision he perhaps had in mind when he conceived the idea. The possibilities of cinema special effects have obviously increased dramatically since 1979 and Scott makes full use of these to create a stunning world. Have no doubts: Prometheus is an incredible looking film. Without going overboard with the CGI, Scott creates a superb vision of the future, applying imagination and a keen visual eye to every aspect from vehicle to creature design.
On the other hand, the Alien legacy looms large over the film and some people were inevitably disappointed. Anyone expecting either the tense atmosphere of the first film or the gung-ho action of James Cameron's sequel will feel let down. Prometheus is a very different film. Yet whilst it lacks the outright terror of Ridley's classic, it still maintains a tense atmosphere, tells an intriguing story and builds on the Alien mythology to (sort of) explain how the creatures came into being.
In a way, this is Prometheus' key problem. How does it attract viewers used to the action-fest of the later Alien movies when it is really a slow-burning and tense thriller? Take Prometheus for what it is and it's actually rather effective. Go in with unrealistic expectations and you may well hate it.
It is very much a film of two halves, with the opening hour or so easily the best part of the film. I really enjoyed this section and up to the 60 minute mark Prometheus was heading for 4 stars. Yes, sometimes it gets a bit carried away and pretentious with its religious symbolism and parallels, but this is not done in a particularly heavy-handed way, so I can forgive that.
What's less forgivable is the way the film drops the ball in the final act. It's here it makes the concession to action fans, featuring lots of running around corridors in pursuit of various things. Sadly, this also means that it just becomes yet another generic sci-fi action film. For me, the beauty of Prometheus' first hour was that it dared to do something quite different. Once it descended into more established territory, my interest levels dropped off dramatically and resulted in the film losing a further star.
Some people also had a problem with the aliens themselves which are not quite the same creatures that we have come to know from the established franchise. Personally, I didn't have too much of an issue with this. Yes, they were different and it was slightly tricky to fit them into the known taxonomy. However, the clearly shared the DNA and (if you strain hard), you can make an argument that they are evolving into the creatures we know from the later films. Another bone of contention is that the aliens don't actually make that many appearances... but then the same is true of the original film - and look how well that worked out.
If the aliens themselves are a little camera shy, you can't fault the human cast. Noomi Rapace, the ubiquitous Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce and Idris Elba all feature. Sadly, the star-studded cast is given rather uneven treatment. Fassbender (as android David) is superb channelling the spirit of androids from later films whilst creating a unique character in his own right. Idris Elba (as the ship's captain) manages to turn a rather clichéd role into something more interesting. Charlize Theron is fine, but saddled with an underwritten character with a fairly obvious character arc, whilst Guy Pearce (inevitably) looks rather stupid slathered with aging prosthetics as Peter Weyland.
Noomi Rapace as scientist Elizabeth Shaw is a little harder to judge. Whilst she's no Sigourney Weaver, and her character is no Ripley, she still manages to capture something of that same combination of vulnerability and feistiness. There are times when she is very, very good. However, there are also times when she is highly annoying; particularly her voice.
Prometheus was always going to divide people. Those who wanted to see "proper" aliens are going to be disappointed; those who appreciate the slow-burning and effective atmosphere of the first section will find the ending rather trite and predictable.
Still, whatever you think about Prometheus, it certainly got people talking about Alien again. If Ridley's up for another prequel/sequel/re-imagining/whatever, then I'm game!
Director: Ridley Scott
Running time: 124 minutes
(c) Copyright SWSt 2013
Film Only Review
This was the latest choice from my film subscription, it was chosen mostly by my husband although I fancied it as well, as I quite like sci fi films. We ended up watching this twice as there is a lot going on, and when we first watched it we did not realise it is a prequel to the alien film, although at the end we did guess this ( we just thought it was a sci fi film). When we first watched this there was also someone who kept texting my husband, meaning we missed bits. The second time, and with a bit more knowledge about it, it was much easier to take everything in and to see the references to Alien.
The basic story is based on the space ship Prometheus following an ancient map to our creators home land. Prometheus is a Ridley Scott film though and there is a lot more going on, and a few different themes going on. In common with the Alien films the main character of Prometheus is a strong female character called Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace), she is an archeologist who discovers the map and wants to meet her maker (not in the dying and going to heaven sense, more in the having a chat sense). Her acting in this as the naive archeologist who has to toughen up as things go wrong is very good, and I also enjoyed the acting of the other actors; David, the manipulative robot (played by Michael Fassbender), Meredith Vickers, the cold "boss" (played by Charlize Theron), Janek, the Prometheus captain (played by Idris Elba), Peter Weyland, who is funding the trip (played by Guy Pearce) and Charlie Holloway, Elizabeth's boyfriend and fellow archeologist (played by Logan Marshall-Green). There are also several other characters.
No sci fi film would be complete without special effects, and as I expected the ones in Prometheus were superb, starting with a particularly stunning waterfall scene where you see life on earth being created, to the end scenes were they finally meet the "engineers".
As I have said there is a lot going on in this film, and as well as Aliens, the film also explores several relationships; including the question of who made us. There is one scene after they have arrived on the planet, but haven't yet found the "engineers'", where David the robot asks Charlie what he is looking for from the "engineers", and Charlie replies that he wants to find out why they made us. David then asks why we made him, and Charlie's reply is "because we could", and David says he hopes that we get a better answer as that could be disappointing.
The film also looks at parent and child relationships, as well as the dynamics in a group of people miles from home doing a job.
Did I enjoy it
Yes, the first time I saw it I liked it but was a bit confused as I had missed several of the references, the second time it made much more sense and I really enjoyed it. I feel the acting was good and the special effects very good.
As such I'm giving it 5 stars, for a good special effects film, with a good plot.
Prometheus is a 2012 film directed by Ridley Scott and is a prequel to the Alien franchise which Ridley Scott began with Alien in 1980. That film began the story with a spaceship arriving at distant plant and the ship taking the alien back with them, this film aimed to tell the story of how the aliens arrived at the initial planet to begin with. This film was produced by James Cameron who directed the sequel Alien 2 and in my mind this film has a lot of similarities between that film and this prequel.
One of my earliest memories of watching a film was Alien in the early 80's, I can distinctly remember watching the film on VHS with my dad and him having great delight in watching my reaction when the alien bursts out of John Hurts stomach at the dinner table (happy memories even for about a 9 year old). Anyway I've always loved the gothic horror element of the films in truth the films are horror films rather than sci-fi, they are horror films set on a spaceship rather than the other way around. The original film introduced the alien, Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) and the ever more complex interplay between the aliens and the humans and which contains the more evil. The films tend to focus on human greed and avarice and how their desires always play into the hands of the ultimate predator i.e., the alien.
I guess the excitement of the film's release was a re-igniting of the franchise which in truth had become marginalised and rather silly with the predator versus alien oddities and the last mainstream outing of Alien Resurrection. Re-boots and prequels seem to be all the rage some work like the Star Trek or Batman restarts and some don't like the Star Wars trilogy in and around the millennium. This one had at least a story to tell, how did the aliens get to the original planet , this film at least attempted to tell the story of how humans and aliens first came into contact.
Prometheus begins with an large humanoid standing next to a large Niagara style waterfall, it takes a sip of something and then falls into the water disintegrating casting it's DNA into the water. We are then taken to 2089 where 2 archaeologists find a star map and a pictorial representative of a giant, they realise the symbols are a clue and an indicator to find the giant alien. The next scene takes us to a spaceship hovering around a planet and the ships androids David wakes the two archaeologists (Elizabeth and logan) as well the ship's captain, the projects commander and a consortium of soldiers, fortune hunters and scientists.
They find an ancient site which looks like a spacestation and are instructed by the owner of the ship a very elderly man called Peter Wayland who has sent them a message for when they awake. The projects commander is his daughter Meredith (played by Charlize Theron) tells the crew to find the aliens and see what technology they have left behind. This set-up is very similar to the plot of Alien 2, a closed environment with only one spaceship giving a finite set of characters but enough contrasting characters to allow for insurrection, aggression and things to go very wrong very quickly. This film continues the narrative of the original films in that the avarice of men will overcome the safety issues and pursue personal profit over human safety.
Is it fair to review this film as a stand-alone film or as a part of bigger picture, if you review the film as though having never watched the preceding films or have any knowledge about what will happen in the future of the characters on set then it comes across as a brilliant piece of gothic sci-fi horror. There are plenty of moments of terror, plenty of disturbing scenes and a form of re-enactment of the John Hurt birthing the alien scene. The film is filmed in glorious depiction of a decaying dead planet, the setting reminds the viewer of a desolate Icelandic fiord with harsh lines and little or no soft touches. Adding the harshline s of the ship, the crispness of the performance s of Michael Fassbender as the android and Charlize Theron as the commander all give a sense of tight and taut storytelling.
The standout performance is by Michael Fassbender who continues to show his abilities as a superb actor, Charlize Theron gives a brilliant performance as the tight controlled commander of the mission, she wears tight suits and a severe haircut and still manages to look as sexy as an woman on screen at the moment. Noomi Rapace plays Elizabeth Shaw and is probably the films main character, she is ok but does look a lot like a female version of Raphael Nadal and give a restricted but slightly wooden performance.
Overall this film left almost as many questions as it tried to answer, the film gave a clear indication that there will be a sequel. I enjoyed it without being blown away but compared to many films it is still head and shoulders above everything else.
Questions will be answered.
The infamous tagline to the 2012 film Prometheus. Some may see this as intriguing, but I am a nerd. I see it as a challenge. I challenge that I have since duly accepted, and been left hollow and empty. It seems to me that questions will not be answered, rather, more questions will be asked, and the answers seem further away than the films setting.
The alien franchise is, in my opinion, one of the best series f films in terms of atmosfear ( see what I did there?). I have long since been a fan, and pride myself in having an in depth knowledge of the films. I have to agree that the first two films are far superior to the rather thrown together Alien 3, and the slap dash ressurection. That said, the thought of q new film linked to the franchise got the hairs standing on the back of my neck again.
As then release date grew closer, I re-watched the Alien films to 'swat up' in preparation. I watched and read any material on the film that I could, in order to be fully prepared for the test. The film promised answers, and I wanted to make sure I knew what questions to ask.
We start with two archeologists who find a drawing on a cave wall. A seemingly innocuous cave drawing showing nothing more than a link to our past. That is until it is put beside several other almost identical drawings from centuries apart. Civilisations that could not possibly have known eachother. All linked by a series of five spheres in the sky. Spheres that match one solar system in the modern sky. A solar system where the spaceship Prometheus now travels to, with the archeologists and a team of scientists on board in stasis.
The Prometheus lands on a planet, near to a strange structure. Is it natural, or has it been made? Either way, it seems that the archeologists theories were correct. Were they about to meet their creators, or were they merely on a wild goose chase? What they were about to uncover their lives forever, for better or worse.
Definitely a spectacle
Prometheus may be many things, but what is certain is that when you give Ridley Scott a job with a multi million dollar budget, it will be beautiful. The backdrops to both the opening scene on the planet, and the discovery of the 'building' are superb. Super smooth, and well rendered. That combined with the sheer detail put into the backgrounds and the non human characters (not spoiling anything for anyone, you knew there would be aliens!), cannot be rated highly enough. As a work of art, it cannot be faulted.
All star cast
The film stars Noomi Rapace ( who I have since fallen slightly in love with.), Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, and Charlize Theron in the main roles. All of them turn in superb performances, especially Fassbender who plays David, and android. His mannerisms are superb, and some of the scenes early in the movie where he is alone on the ship, set his stall for what is a storming show. Fassbender and Noomi share some great scenes, which is good considering that they Amy well be the only two humans in the planned Prometheus 2
Part of the franchise?
For me, this is where Prometheus starts to falter. It seems that it has no real identity. It's not an alien film, nor is it a film in its own right. The story was originally made in 2000, to was put on the back burner when the farcical alien v predator series started. It seems in that time, Prometheus forgot who it really was.
Prometheus was a titan, who was largely attributed to the creation of the human race. The alien character here is said to have created us, hence them being called engineers. That story is good. It makes a film in its own right, that seems interesting and new. Why then, did they even need to try and keep the link to the alien film? And why when they decided to keep the link, did they conclude that it would be a good idea to make that link so tenuous, that only those who wanted it to work could keep all the parts together long enough for the film to be satisfactory.
Certain scenes and backgrounds are added in simply to whet the appetite of the 'alien' fan. The boneship that crashed on lv-426. The space jockey, that was famously found by the crew in the original 'alien'. All fantastic stuff, the likes of which I could only of dreamed of. But it screams that it is trying to be alien, and get instant ticket sales because of it. The alien species that wipes out the engineers before our crew get there bear no resemblance to Gigers alien. Now, I can try and explain that by looking at the aliens evolution through the original franchise, like how the alien in the third film walks on all fours due to being bred in a dog. However, I firmly believe that one should not have to work so hard to explain a film that people have been paid millions to make. This is the basis of my statement that questions will not be answered, rather more questions will be asked.
Hyper speed, or Ford Capri?
A bit of both. I cannot hide my overall disappointment in the film. It does not do enough for me, as a fan of the previous franchise. I do however think that it is down to my being a fan, that meant I was looking for to much. Maybe questions were answered, but I simply asked to many? I don't know. What I can say is that it is visually stunning. It contains several fantastic scenes, and has a really strong pool of acting talent all of whom put in a performance. The storyline is great in it's own right, though some of the links to the original are paper thin, and are best ignored.
Watch this one with an open mind, and judge it on it's own merits. Don't do what I did and expect 'alien' to continue as it left off. This left me with a void the film couldn't fill. Better to not treat it as a prequel to 'alien', but to watch it as Prometheus. You will enjoy it, and you will not have to spend the entire of it's 124 minutes scrutinising it, and looking for answers it simply won't give you.
Put a top director, great acting abilities and a huge budget together and what to you get? Well, this pile of rubbish aparently. Ok, so it wasn't quite THAT bad but not far off.
After much talk Prometheus was meant to not be a prequel to Alien but then actually was a prequel (indirectly, of course). A bunch of the same people who worked on the original Alien got on board for it and they assembled a pretty good sounding cast (including Charlize Theron, Idris Elba and Noomi Rapace).
Bit about the film.
The main character (played by Rapace) is Elizabeth Shaw, an archaeologist who believes in God. Shaw, along with boyfriend Charlie and team, find symbols they believe to be a message from the makers of humans. In steps Weyland (we all remember that company right) who fund a trip to the co ordinates indicated in the historic wall drawings found all over the world. Skip ahead a couple of years and here we meet other main characters (I use the term main loosely at this point) including Vickers (Theron), Janek (Elba) and David (Michael Fassbender). The skip in time is due to them (apart from David) all being frozen for the voyage but now they have arrived at the destination it is all go.
The Prometheus lands on the planet they want to check out and half the crew get suited and booted to explore the structure they just happened to have found on the way down. Bit of poking about later and they head off (for those that have seen it, no pun intended here) back to the ship and that's when things start to go nasty.
I will leave it there as I don't want to give anything away and there is also a lot going on, a bit too much to talk about. A little warning though, the following will contain extra information about scenes in the film so could be spoilers.
Do you want to know what I think?
The film is good but that is about as excited about it as I can get. There are plot holes aplenty, pointless characters and a random meshing of scenes in some parts. I have major gripes with a few of them including:
Vickers - what was the point in Vickers? She doesn't do anything, doesn't contribute in any way nor does she hinder the project in any way. Her character is simply there in a pointless manor, which is actually a real shame because there was potential for her to be a great character.
The pregnation scene - again a pointless part of the film. When Shaw awakens because the lighting and tone was so very different from the previous scene I was expecting a dreamlike scene on par with the Ripley dream scene in Aliens. This wasn't the case. This scene was simply put in so that another pointless scene could happen later on in the film. Unless a sequel comes out and this is cleared up (or in Directors Cut) then it will remain pointless.
David being evil - what actually was his agenda? Again, unless a sequel or directors cut clears it up there is no point in him being so. He goes from nice to evil and then back to nice again. What was his endgame? It wasn't very clear.
The main storyline - it never actually makes it clear what the Engineers intentions where. Was it definate that they where all some kind of killing machines or bombs and they where going to kill all humans? Or where they actually the creators? Not clear enough for me to know a definative answer for it.
So, apart from these and a few other problems with the film, it is not too bad. Enjoyable enough if you can get past the problems and switch off. The little nods to the Alien franchise are nice for the fans as well but I do hope they bring out a sequel just so that they can clear up all the mess they caused with this film.
Prometheus is Director Ridley Scott's prequel-that-isn't to the Alien franchise, set in the same universe and exploring that series' beginning and the possible origins of the Alien Xenomorphs that have become, over the years, so famous and iconic....
The film begins with two archaeologists in the near future finally correlating seemingly unrelated pictograms from across the world together to discover that the five same spherical objects can be found in each and every picture. These five spheres appear to represent a cluster of stars on the outer reaches of the known universe and, funded by the Weyland Corporation, the scientists soon arrange a journey into deep space with the intention of discovering the origins of all mankind. But of course, as you might expect, things do not go as planned.....
If it is not enough that different people on the mission seem to have have their own agendas, it quickly becomes clear that some kind of tragedy occurred on the planet they arrive on and that their arrival may just have stirred something up....and before long, the fate of all humanity is at stake!
This is a cracking sci-fi film with all of the best elements of the original Alien and as dark, gritty and brooding as you might expect from the Director of such films as Bladerunner! Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace all steal the show in a very clever film that kind of works alongside Alien without actually being a direct prequel. Questions unanswered from Alien, such as who WAS the Space Jockey encountered as a corpse in the first Alien, are finally answered but, sat the same time, many more are asked whose answers are less clear cut.....
Some people have loved this, some people have hated it. Me, I am firmly in the first camp. This is a great movie that achieves everything it sets out to do and a bit more and leaves everything open for a potential sequel....
It is tense, at times claustrophobic and always terrifying as the action builds to a terrific climax. If you have been waiting patiently for a DECENT sequel to Alien then wait no longer because this builds on the already established universe and sets it all off in a completely new direction!
Star - Director Ridley Scott
Genre - Sci-Fi
Country - US
Certificate - 15
Run time - 2 hours, 4 minutes
Meredith Vickers: Take us home!
Elizabeth Shaw: If we don't stop it, there won't be any home to go back to!
Prometheus - 'a character from Greek mythology. He was a Titan (an immortal older god), who gave the gift of fire to human beings. Prometheus was punished for this by being bound to a rock in Hades (the Greek underworld), where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to feed on his liver, only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. In some stories, Prometheus is freed at last by the hero Hercules. Prometheus also tricked the gods, which is of relevance to this film' -
When a meteorite crashed to earth in Australia in 2008, researchers discovered the organic molecules 'uracil and xanthine' in its makeup, which confirmed the rock could not have formed on Earth. These purines are precursors to DNA, the set of genetic instructions for organisms on Earth. Without rare composites like this we, and life on Earth, may be very different and may not have formed at all? Quite simply some of the things we are made of are older than the Earth, an interesting thought. Both NASA and the Vatican even agree that it is almost mathematically impossible that we can be where we are today, without some help along the way. Einstein once said to the then Pope in the Vatican that both physicist and theologies were both looking for the same thing, that of the Creator of everything.
Ridley Scott loves that contradiction between religion and science and explores it gently with Prometheus here - how we all got here and why man created Gods, the idea of death and nothing but blackness after this life not that appealing. Its reassuring to believe there is a plan to all this and so a creator and not just random chance. As the universe appears to be endless in all directions then anything is possible with the ingredients and available time and empty space to do it. 2000 years ago the average age of an adult was about 40, so not surprising wiser men created all manner of Gods and variations of heaven to keep the people content that it was all worth it. Prometheus is not an intellectual debate on the above and just a bit of fun by Scott but worth the trip all the same, if just to have his claustrophobic and atmospheric sci-fi worlds wash over you in an air conditioned cinema.
Noomi Rapace ... Elizabeth Shaw
Michael Fassbender ... David
Charlize Theron ... Meredith Vickers
Idris Elba ... Janek
Guy Pearce ... Peter Weyland
Logan Marshall-Green ... Charlie Holloway
Sean Harris ... Fifield
Rafe Spall ... Millburn
Emun Elliott ... Chance
Benedict Wong ... Ravel
Kate Dickie ... Ford
After a spectacular opening sequence on an earth like planet as a human like alien creature tumbles into a swollen waterfall after swallowing a strange substance, creating a biogenic reaction in the ice cold water, the demise prompted by a large saucer like ship above him, the action moves to 2089 in Iceland on a more familiar Earth, some excitable archeologists discovering a cave painting of similar type creatures pointing to a similar saucer like craft in the sky. This is not the first hieroglyphics they have seen like this and geologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) believe the seven sites so far all around the world are connected, not just paintings but a message pointing to another star system where they may find some answers to where we all came from.
Four years later they are part of a crew on a deep space ship, Prometheus, funded by Weyland Enterprises, heading out to a star system and the moon LV223, where the message seems to points to. After some serious cryo-sleep they are awoken by David (Michael Fassbender), the rather disparate crew's onboard synthetic android, who has been preparing the mission for two years while the crew slept.
Elizabeth Shaw: What happens when Weyland is not around to program you anymore?
David: I suppose I'll be free.
Elizabeth Shaw: You want that?
David: "Want"? Not a concept I'm familiar with. That being said, doesn't everyone want their parents dead?
Elizabeth Shaw: I didn't.
The ship touches down on the hostile moon where they discover an ancient construction, some sort of pyramid vent to an object below, breathable air down there. Being architects they can't wait to explore and soon in trouble, the ships phlegmatic captain Janek (Idris Elba) warning them to take their time. But whatever's down there is clearly less creator and more exterminator and not in a hurry to welcome the receivers of the profound message. It was time to leave before they got there.
There was a real buzz when word got out our Ridley Scott was back in space, and rightfully so, and even more when they realized it would not be Alien 5, that franchise long since burnt out. Alien was the perfect Sci-fi movie for me and could never be bettered and so two films enough for most. But Ridley has returned to what he knows best with Prometheus and although this prequel of sorts is good fun with a decent intelligent script its meaning merely complements the Alien quadrilogy, the profound ideas around religion versus creation gently explored here lost in the need to chase a big gross. Yes the signature Ridley Scott grandiose organic sets and his unique claustrophobic filmmaking style are welcome, and what the fans were expecting, but deep down it's a by-the-numbers exercise and nothing spectacular, only its welcome restraint of CGI to create those alien worlds and ships the big plus here to stop the film getting too busy on screen like George Lucas does. Prometheus is no Phantom Menace to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Nothing could be that bad a bedfellow!
On the original Alien, Scott actually scavenged parts of the old 'V' bombers that carried Britain's nuclear deterrent to give the space ships that functional metallic look to the interior, H.R.Gieger's incredible gothic artwork for the alien panoramas completing the masterpiece. He likes to build his sets to scale when possible and budgets allow and that perspective is the key for his films as you are there with the nervous explorers, again casting a strong female hero in the lead, another Ridley Scott template, the energetic and emancipated actress Naomi Rapace from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo doing the running around to keep the boys alive.
Although the film gently compliments in style and atmosphere what went before/after in the Alien films and an enjoyable enough in its own right, and even though Prometheus shares the same universe as the Alien did his dirty deeds in, Scott says there is no real marriage between the two. You could have fooled me mate! I think he could not make this film without some sort of connection as the studio would have got nervous. But from its $130m budget it has done $402 million back and clearly meeting with hardcore Sci-Fi fans admiration if not exuberance. It was never going to live up to Alien but nice to see Scott, back in this neck of the universe all the same. But it's not something super special and original from Ridley, what you generally get from this director, and that's the big disappointment. If anyone else had directed this it would have got higher praise.
It was sad to hear of the suicide of Ridley's director brother Tony Scott as that guy knew how to make action movies, Top Gun his most famous, a non pretentious director who had you reaching for the popcorn and not the fast-forward. He made simple movies that glued you to the cinema seat and you didn't have to worry about confusing and convoluted plots. He box ticked everything you would want in a pacey movie and rarely made a stinker, his partnership with Denzel Washington one of the most profitable for seats sold in the business...
Imdb.com - 7.2/10.0 (190,785 votes)
Rottentomatos.com - 73% critics approval rating
Metacritic.com - 65% critics approval rating
New Yorker -'The movie may be a scare show that leaves many questions unanswered, but Scott's craft earns an exhausted kind of respect'.
Sci-Fi Magazine - 'A fascinating - and at times frustrating - film'
Film Blog.com - 'No one can hear you scream, except perhaps God'.
SFX Magazine - 'Prometheus is by no means a terrible movie. It's not the prequel we wanted, but it is a glorious spectacle packed with thumping space opera tropes'.
The Daily Telegraph - 'Never quite matching Alien or Aliens for emotional authenticity - but definitely holding you in tow until the final moments. Ridley Scott isn't much for illustrating humanity, but he sure as hell knows how to craft aliens'.
The Mail - 'The film [has] a kind of "been there, done that" feeling'.
The Baltimore Times - 'Returning to the genre that skyrocketed his career with "Alien" and "Blade
Runner," Scott has fashioned a fascinating new mystery within his original "Alien" universe.
Prometheus will end up being one of those films which is artistically classy and full of the latest in special effects - it may even be considered groundbreaking. Anyone looking for a right royal action adventure though may end up being sorely disappointed. A lot of this film deals with the age old battle between science and religion, pitching the origin of our species some ridiculous number of light years away and patching together a crew of specialists to go where no man has ever imagined was possible to go before and find out exactly where we come from. The title extends from the name of the space ship used - designed to denote the our origins, something that is relevant to the film.
It's a philosophical debate really, and has at its heart both hope and unfinished business. You see, many have pegged this as a complete prequel to Ridley Scott's genius masterpiece Alien, and its subsequent and lesser quality collection of sequels. However, to look at it solely as this would be wrong. It seems as if Scott is going back further than this focus would need to, setting the scene for an eventual sequel once it comes along - there are some things that don't need to be explained, and perhaps pressure to give us something in this way combined with his own will to leave a piece of cinematic genius as it is resulted in this offering.
The film is set 75 years or so in the future, and things have progressed significantly. Space travel and the cryogenic stasis seen in the original Alien are now commonplace as long as you have money, and the Weyland Corporation certainly has that. Special effects dominate the early part of the film as scientists and lovers Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discover a pattern in various historical races across the ages that leads to the existence of a praiseworthy planet somewhere deep beyond our imagination in space. The Weyland Corp fund the expedition, with an experienced yet motley crew of space explorers, scientists and corporation staff. There's also the obligatory android created by the corp and designed to aid the humans on the trip.
Naturally, and thankfully for all our boredom's sake, things don't go as smoothly as they had hoped, and the concept of meeting your maker becomes more like a case of running for your future and not digging into your past. Revelations about humanoid beings and holographic messages, with sophisticated structures and equipment billions of light years away, are matched by the equally galling dangerous substances which seem to dominate Scott's 'Alien' imagination. Sinister music and the audience seeing things that the character aren't able to is one of the more powerful combinations in cinema, and we're not let down here in the slightest. There is little or no predictability for large parts of the film, and I was certainly surprised by an abundance of moments. Somehow, I thought everyone would be alright. More fool me. It doesn't take long before some evil entity is all over our crew, and that's when people's true colours come out.
It's hard to set the scene without explaining things in too much detail and giving it away. Picture maybe a desolate cross between the end of Star Wars III - Revenge of the Sith and any scene of Lord of the Rings - a dark and desolate place full of doom, gloom, rocks and inevitable danger. There's one interior - a huge rock like structure that houses some sort of signal and readings they follow. They cross between this and the ship in various states of calm, panic, large groups, solo and with a few surprises along the way. A lot of the suspense is helped by the cast, who are on form. Noomie Rapace tops the billing I suppose, as the Ripley character that Sigourney Weaver played inAlien. She obviously not Ripley, but her ability in action scenes later in the film bears an almost identical character and is surely no accident from Scott. She plays Dr Shaw, one of the two behind the whole mission. Logan Marshall-Green takes more of a back seat as her fellow discoverer, his male dominance shattered by some other stellar performances from the likes of Idris Elba as the fearless Janek, captain of the spacecraft Prometheus (hence the title) and Fifield, eccentric and aggressive scientist most recently seen as assassin Micheletto in The Borgias - a fine pair of British actors. But even they are overshadowed by the cold and calculating pairing of Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender as the expedition's leader Meredith Vickers of the Weyland Corp and android David respectively. Theron's screen dominance is that of a head turner. She enters the room and everyone wants to watch her - it's the same on screen here. But Fassbender is by far and away the best thing about the film. To play an android with no emotion and still be captivating is a skill, and he mastered it. One of the best performances I have seen in a film for a while.
And it's just as well that the cast and special effects perform, because I felt that the plot was a lot weaker than I had expected or hoped. For Alien fans, you'll be left wanting more in terms of clarification and answers, and for no Alien fans or those who haven't even seen it, a lot of the references will be lost on you and the overall effects of the plot may have more grounding in Danny Boyle's visually stunning but ultimately dull Sunshine, which was also a philosophical pile of guesswork based in space. At least Scott seems to give more of a clue as to why he's doing this, but it's a very long film for such little content. Effect and substance and atmosphere are delivered better in cinemas, and this is certainly one of those films which benefit from this setting. On TV or elsewhere may be less effective and provide lower ratings.
Yet I'm not dissing it, not in the slightest. I WAS hoping for more, and I had HOPED for eternal clarification of all things Alien, and perhaps this is the film's own downfall - viewer expectation. After a while in the wilderness with some disappointing Alien sequels and some even more disappointing collaborations with Predator (an excuse to have two aliens beat the proverbial out of each other on screen) people will be expecting something damn near perfect, and 2 hours just isn't long enough to bridge the gap he needs to answer all the questions - indeed he may not even have the answers yet. There will be some closure for fans, but not nearly enough. Alien blood's toxic nature, the Space Jockey's existence and the whole concept of 'in space no one can hear you scream' are all treated in here, as well as some more subtle references, but this is a unique film with its own identity. My suggestion is to go into it with your eyes open and to not go into it with Alien on your mind. You'll enjoy it far more - I did. Recommended.
According to the Greek myth, Prometheus stole fire from the Gods to give to mankind, and was subsequently condemned to having his liver devoured by an eagle on a daily basis - he was also credited with the creation of man, hewn from clay. In these stories lie the foundations of this film, a precursor to Ridley Scott's legendary Alien (1979) - it tells of a fated journey beyond the stars to uncover the truth behind the genesis of humanity.
Prequels are tricky things, in that you're trying to satisfy the whims of the hardcore fans and their intimate, protective affinity with the original film, whilst also attempting to create a stand-alone film that caters for the casual filmgoer. As such, this isn't too much of an out-and-out prequel; there are plenty of things that connect Prometheus with the Alien franchise and plenty of nods to what we already know is to come, but it's not too explicit; this film doesn't lead neatly into the Alien, but rather tells its own story. In doing so, though, the universe in which the original quadrilogy takes place is substantially fleshed-out.
Prometheus kicks off on a Scottish island, where a cave painting is discovered which depicts a larger-than-human figure pointing into the stars. The same motif, and the same constellation of stars, has already been found in numerous incarnations across the globe, created by peoples that never could have met. Assuming a common genesis, and assuming that these images refer to the creation of mankind and the secrets that lay behind, a super-rich tycoon finances a mission to locate and research this cluster of stars.
So goes the Prometheus, a space vessel which carries in stasis a team of geologists, explorers and general hardarses, along with the requisite dispassionate android, bound for the only planet in this constellation where life would be possible, where the answers must surely be hidden.
What they find there puzzles and chills the passengers, and generates a friction between them that plays out against the rising horrors that their efforts unwittingly unleash.
In some ways, this is pretty standard stuff - bunch of ill-matched scientists and mercenaries discover something that turns out to be in equal measures mind-blowing and face-eating. You could say that the formula is a re-hash of the Alien films, only deprived for the most part of the iconic monster(s) of the piece. For Ripley, read Shaw (Noomi Rapace); for Bishop read David (Michael Fassbender); and so forth and so on.
This is probably unfair, though - although certain tropes are hard to avoid, and the film has to cover certain ground to lay the way for Alien, Prometheus unfolds quite differently to its predecessors (or successors, depending on how you look at it). Rapace's Shaw is - like Ripley - a strong, engaging female protagonist, but there the similarities end. She's not in the same mold of action hero, and similarly, Prometheus is less fast-paced and frenetic than much of the original films. Rapace creates an interesting, conflicted character and demonstrates again the considerable ability as an actress that she showed as Lisbeth Salander in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Fassbender is equally impressive as the detached Android David, and holds the screen wonderfully with his icy presence and idiosyncratic delivery, while an impressive supporting cast gives the film lashings substance to go with its style. And style it has buckets of - this is a visually arresting movie that has obviously had enormous care and attention lavished on it. The locations (shot in Iceland) look wonderfully desolate and looming, and the whole film is seeped in an atmosphere of foreboding and hidden threat. Stylistically, this is in keeping with the feel of the Alien films (with some nice visual nods in this direction), but also makes full use of the latest technology and production methods.
As a stand-alone film, Prometheus is good, occasionally very good. The first half is almost faultless, setting up the story sharply and leading the viewer into a story soaked in intrigue, mystery and atmosphere. You're taken in by the plot, you are led to care about the characters, and you feel like great things are coming with the big reveal. Unfortunately, they aren't. Somehow, the second half of the film loses its way a bit and fails to do what you feel it should with the material that's there. Little is clearly resolved, the action scenes are so-so, and the whole things seems to fizzle out a bit. If the balance were the other way around, you'd probably come away loving the film, but as it is, Prometheus is tinged with a sense of missed opportunity. It's enjoyable, and whips through its two-hour running time, but doesn't quite live up to the considerable hype.
However, as part of a sequence of films, I think it more than does its job. We know more about the Alien universe, and if we don't really learn much about the origins of man, we do come to understand where the franchise's iconic monsters came from. Without the events of Prometheus, Alien could never have happened, so this film plays a key role in the development of the overarching plot. All in all, it's probably a 7/10 for your average filmgoer, something slightly higher for a lover of the series.
As an aside, I assumed that searching for "Prometheus" on Dooyoo would bring up this film as the top result. I was wrong. Go see, and be careful to check what you've ordered your dad for Christmas.
This movie appears to get a mixed reaction among film fans, yet I found it an intriguing, thought provoking film, that - yes, I agree - asks more questions than it answers, but is that a bad thing? I found that reflective of life itself. There are indeed so many things we human beings will likely never find answers to, so I do not really buy peoples arguement on that.
If you're a fan of Alien, and expecting more of the same, you're likely in the wrong place, though there are echoes of that movie reverberating from each scene here. Visually, its more impressive than Alien, and possibly one of the most outstanding films I have seen in that regard. Rapace is perhaps no Sigourney Weaver, but doesnt try to be, and she is on fine form. As are all the leads. With Michael Fassbender perhaps stealing the show.
Its inevitably going to be a film that you have to see for yourself and come to your own conclusions. I believe it will stand the test of time and gain more appreciation as time goes by.
It's All Alien To Me
When it was announced that Ridley Scott was working on an Alien prequel I was very excited. As time moved on Scott distanced himself from the prequel idea and said that the new film was just set in the Alien world. Nonetheless I was hooked and now I have finally seen it.
At almost two hours in length I was surprised how fast the time went, a sign of a good film in my eyes. Praise has to go to the special effects team, Scott really knows how to make a film look good, and good it certainly does look. Even in this day and age of effect heavy films, it stands head and shoulders above most. Scott is a very visual director, and has been criticised for style over substance but I think he get's the balance right more often than not.
Fans of the artwork of H.R. Giger will not be disappointed, I don't think he had a massive input but his
work is still very apparent and that is no bad thing as his work never fails to amaze me and sometimes
disturb. It's nice to see some of this work come to life again. If you are not familiar with his work I strongly recommend looking it up.
The film has been criticised for the throwaway nature of a lot of the characters. I must admit
that during the film I had no idea of the names of some of them, however the main characters I thought
were fleshed out enough. There were only seven characters in the original Alien, there are many more
here but there's no way they could all have back stories so most are there for the ride. Some of the
characters seem to act very strangely towards each other and make some puzzling decisions. I'm not sure if this is where some of the cuts were made.
Michael Fassbender excels as the android David, I don't think that's a secret as he appeared as an android in the viral marketing that preceded the films release. He is a bit like the Ash character from Alien rather than Bishop from Aliens, in that he seems mysterious and running his own agenda, but this is not at all clear cut. His actions have generated a lot of speculation in the forums. I couldn't help but think of the human looking Cylons from the new Battlestar Galactica series when he was on screen.
Charlize Theron as hard nosed Meredith Vickers does not get as much screen time as I was expecting but when she is she is very good, her character is a little ambiguous at times which I liked. She is aboard the Prometheus to make sure the mission goes smoothly.
Idris Elba is the only other character that had any real input despite a small amount of screen time as the Captain of the Prometheus. He is often the voice of reason.
Guy Pearse is almost unrecognisable as the ageing Peter Weyland, Weyland you may remember from the previous Alien films is the name of the corporation that seems hell bent on recovering the Alien for their own ends and is often referred to as simply "The Company". The art department have make up have done a great job making him look old, not sure why they didn't employ an older actor and save the hassle. Guy appears as himself at his current age in some viral videos that have been released promoting the film.
Strangely for a futuristic special effects laden movie the music is pretty much forgettable. I was kind of expecting something more in the Vangelis style but a bit more traditional sounding, but we just got a generic movie soundtrack that does seem to repeat itself a bit too often. For a director known for stunning soundtracks in film like Blade Runner and Gladiator I find it surprising. I won't be rushing out the buy the CD.
Ridley Scott is known for his director's cuts, I have read that there could be 20 - 30 minutes of footage
reinserted into the film when it comes out on DVD. I hope this is the case as some areas could do with
more explaining, and may clean up some of odd things that happen.
If you've ever wondered about the so called "Space Jockey", the large creature found in the derelict spacecraft in Alien then you will not be disappointed, but in true Ridley Scott style a lot is still left open to your own interpretation, even more so than Blade Runner.
On the whole I enjoyed Prometheus, it's not up there with Alien but it's very difficult to surpass a film
that is considered a classic and has spawned many sequels itself. I'm not sure why Scott has said it's not
a prequel, in my eyes there is too much here for it not to be, however there is enough unique for it not to
be considered a direct prequel and it could easily take a couple more films to link it back to Alien if it ever
I like how the film has left people discussing between themselves and on forums. There are a lot of different interpretations for the film as a whole and why certain characters behave like they do. For me the way it does link into Alien is one of the main strengths of the film, and of course it's left open for a sequel and I hope there is one, preferably directed by Ridley Scott again.
Main Cast List
Noomi Rapace - Elizabeth Shaw
Michael Fassbender - David
Charlize Theron - Meredith Vickers
Idris Elba - Janek
Guy Pearce - Peter Weyland
Logan Marshall-Green - Charlie Holloway
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Running Time: 124 mins
Prometheus, the Titan who stole fire from the Greek Gods and ended up having his daily regenerating liver ripped out every day by an eagle, is also the name of the spaceship carrying 17 crew members, out to explore a new planet. The reason? Curiosity. Nosy scientists just need to find out who our makers are and solve the mysteries surrounding our creation. Where we come from, who we are, what it means to be alive, what happens with death, are all the questions Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) must have answered. After discovering a set of repeated symbols made by seemingly unconnected ancient cultures all over the world, she and her expedition partner Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) conclude that this is a star map possibly encouraging the humans to venture out and find their ancestors/makers.
The year is 2093, and with the handsome and secure financial backing of one trillion dollars by a shadowy company known as the Weyland Corporation, Prometheus lands on the distant moon LV-223, and awaken from their two-year hyper-sleep, the ship's crew are informed on their mission: to explore and investigate this new terrain and possibly make contact with any alien life-forms, which they dub "Engineers." They icy cold Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), whose job is to make sure everyone else does theirs, is very clear on a couple of points: everything should be reported back to her with no direct contact to be made with anything the team may find. And off they go, into a dark, damp, metallic structure that no sane person would dare enter on foreign land. What do they find? Dead bodies, presumably of one of their sought-after "Engineers." Gooey substance, haunting statues, vicious snake-like creatures, and it's only a matter of time until this chaotic expedition ends in sweat, tears, blood and other biological fluids.
Let's put one rumour to rest. Is this a prequel to Ridley Scott's "Alien"? Yes, it is. The endless confirming and denying coming from the cast and crew have gone out of control. Why can't they just come right out and say it? Yes it is a prequel, with several scenes and timestamps in the movie making it all the more obvious. But do you need to be familiar with the "Alien" franchise to enjoy the film? Absolutely not. "Prometheus" stands proudly on its own, and never relies on director Scott's previous sci-fi outing for any of the film's concepts. Most obviously, "Prometheus" deals on a much bigger, more ambitious scale.
Long gone are "Alien"'s narrow corridors, sharp corners, claustrophobic camera angles. Instead we have a series of expensive looking sets, spacious rooms, tons and tons of fancy technology that completely give this film a whole new spin from what the audience may have experienced with "Alien." The upside of this is what whatever Scott decides to show on the screen, everything looks marvellous, awe-inspiring, and the technical crew have definitely outdone themselves creating such gigantic, enormous stages for the actors to work on. The downside however, is that much of the anticipated horror has gone sadly mute. The more dimension this adds, the less effective scares get. We see everything, and with their brilliant scouting laser balls, a highly accurate three-dimensional schematic is drawn up, and suddenly we have become semi-experts on what should have been a tightly-wound, secretive place. A lot of tension is lost in how much we are told in the beginning, and anyone expecting a full-on horror film is bound to be disappointed. Not many believed "Alien" would work, which would explain the relatively small budget Scott had to play around with the first time, but after this became an international, timeless success, the studio must have had faith in Scott. Around 130 million was what he received, not quite 1 trillion, but a heck of a lot of investment nonetheless. With this backing, he has gone all out, and the stunning visuals show where the money was spent.
Despite the many characters, the only ones that require your attention are Rapace's Shaw, Marshall-Green's Holloway, Theron's Vickers, and Michael Fassbender's David, the droid. Other than that, the rest of the cast is merely there to be slain and to be served up as body parts for the bad guys to mutilate. One by one they fall victim to the more powerful race, and at times, this tragically feels like yet another violent slasher horror in which the separated members from the group have absolutely no chance in ever getting proper screen times. The shallow characterisation never helps, yet another factor that makes this look like an amateurish rehash of tiresome horror flicks. Some deaths are memorable, others not so much, either way, "Prometheus" does show signs of giving up on originality far too quickly.
So thank goodness for Fassbender, who really gives the highlight performance of the film. He plays David, a droid, a loyal and smart one. But it's always difficult to tell just what may be on his mind. Who controls him? The company does presumably. But does he have thoughts of himself? Technically, he shouldn't, and from what we see early on, he seems quiet and innocent enough, dutifully carrying out his orders without a fuss. But in his curious, inquisitive eyes, he appears to be more complex and devious. He seems to be thinking too much for someone acting as the ship's servant, and throughout the film, he does make some questionable moves that have us doubting his true nature. This is exactly the charming yet disturbing look Fassbender gets precisely right. He's sweet natured yet there is something undeniably creepy about him. He is also the one raising all the right, intriguing philosophical questions, giving this film an intelligent edge in the midst of the violent chaos.
As for other individuals we need paying attention to, they are played by not quite as standout but still solid actors. Rapace, although not quite the Ellen Ripley sci-fi warrior queen type we were secretly hoping for and expecting, is on top form as the conflicted religious scientist. Her fascination and passion for this subject certainly show and a lot of burden falls on her in the film's intense climatic moments, something Rapace can pull through drawing out unlikely strength from her character who first appeared to be out of her league. Theron, so cold and distant to the point where even a crewmember wonders whether she is a robot or not (she's not by the way), hovers and lingers in the background with sinister expression, suggesting concealed agendas. She's ambitious, and is out for the company's best financial interests.
The script is wordy, with dialogue used mostly for explaining the details and purpose behind this mission, and is a touch too slow to get started. The opening sequence, in which several aerial shots of beautiful landscapes might have you expect the smooth narrating voice of David Attenborough to guide us through a nature documentary, is impressive, but with his seemingly self-indulgent ways, there are several points in which the film loses its way. But boasting an unbelievably huge scale and a talented cast, Scott delivers yet another memorable sci-fi adventure, although never quite hitting that classic mark.
Across the world, across civilisations separated by impassable distances and time, archaeologists have discovered pictograms showing the worship of giants each pointing to impossibly identical star systems. It's an invitation, whispers Elizabeth Shaw (the original Girl with a Dragon Tattoo's Noomi Rapace), a chance to meet our maker. She wants to find God; boyfriend Charlie wants to talk to aliens, and the Weyland Corporation, represented by ice-cool Charlize Theron - well, they probably just want to make money, at any price. And the rest of the crew of the Prometheus, sent to follow that star map? Well, by the end of it I'm guessing they just want to go home: they set out on this quest with a mix of high hopes; the planet they find, however, is not what anyone expected. But from all the disappointments rises something terrifyingly unexpected...
I wanted so very badly to like this film. I adore all of the Alien films - yes, even the last two that everyone else panned. I'm a massive fan of director Ridley Scott, particularly the phenomenal Blade Runner. How could a movie set before Alien, exploring the identity of the mysterious 'Space Jockey' (an ancient, huge corpse with a telling hole in its chest...!) not be a sure-fire winner?! Answer: this. This movie is, for me, exactly how you take all those amazing ingredients and mix them all up into muddled brown sludge. And that, I'm afraid, is the only answer you're going to get out of this sprawling, messy movie.
Which is a damn shame, it really is. There is so much promise here, and indeed a fair amount to like. Lots and lots of people seem to have been able to focus just on those bits, but for me I've only been able to appreciate (some of) them in hindsight - the viewing experience was a bitter taste and a lot of "What on (or off of!) earth is going on!?". I think it's fair to say that a lot of the movies I watch require a large suspension of disbelief, but somehow - several of them, in fact! - I just couldn't manage that here.
Biggest irk - and without giving anything away - was that I found it very difficult to find an internal logic to the plot. In retrospect, and with a lot of reading around various fan opinions, I admit that part of this was my own fault in not 'getting' some of the set up - but there also seems to be a great deal of guess work required, too. That doesn't speak highly of the story-telling, as far as I'm concerned. I strongly suspect that I would have enjoyed this movie more without the 'Alien' link: being told this isn't a direct prequel (it's set in the same universe, but there's a discontinuity between the plots allowing for a lot of wiggle-room without matching up the 'seams', so to speak) didn't stop my brain from trying to see how *this* evolves into *that*, or how this reaction foreshadows future events on the Nostromo (which, incidentally, is what 'Alien' would have been called if following the same pattern as this movie). Alas, the gulf is just too wide, and I struggled with that jarring inability to see how we get from here to there.
Prometheus seems to try to emulate at least some of the atmosphere of the first Alien, where the very slow build of tension starts to play on your nerves until that big shock slams you halfway out of your seat! However, from the very first scene here (which I still don't really understand) I was so busy feeling confused and then frustrated and altogether NOT caught up in the whole thing, that I found this movie completely not scary, even when it was meant to be. Admittedly, not everyone in the audience seemed to have that same issue - some people were clearly quite scared indeed! - but that just left me feeling more disappointed.
It really didn't help that I really didn't like much of the cast of characters. Main woman Shaw was too obviously a Ripley-wannabe, but too wide-eyed then too frenetically manic to let me even start to want to care about her; thus I didn't invest as much in the story as the film really required. Her love interest seemed utterly bored with the proceedings, and the rest of the crew swayed between puzzlingly irrational, obviously disposable, and totally underused. Interestingly, the exceptions were the purposefully least likable characters: Charlize Theron is marvellously cool and cruel as the company woman, Vickers, and Michael Fassbender has rightly been well-lauded for his portrayal of android, David. David is easily the standout - well, everything, actually! - of the movie. His semi-humanised, still-outsider performance, from obsession with Lawrence of Arabia to the totally amoral reactions to events, was utterly intriguing for me.
Which leads me back to why the rest of the film didn't work for me: David's behaviour is never explained; it simply raises questions and leaves them with you. I was fine with that - in fact, I like it when movies don't shove everything down your throat (if knowing fans will pardon the Alien reference ;)). However, it strikes me that Prometheus does nothing *but* raise questions upon questions, until they stop offering an intriguing sense of mystery and simply become irritating. In my view, you simply cannot expect an audience to stay with you when you provide - not just 'not all' - but absolutely 'not one' of the answers to the conundrums you set up.
Overall, I can't help but feel that this movie was just over ambitious beyond its ability to make all the various elements work enough to keep it all together, at least in a satisfying or even semi-satisfying, manner.
Clearly a movie like this is going to have a hard fight to live up to the hype, which in this case was only exaggerated by a massive pre-release campaign. To my chagrin, I spent a lot of effort avoiding all the rather clever viral marketing (faux-TED talks from the Weyland Corporation, advertising for the David-model android) in an effort not to spoil the movie experience for myself. Alas, I fear these were the best bits of the whole package...
So is it worth viewing? Actually - and given my comments above, probably shockingly - yes. I can't raise my own rating beyond 2 stars, such was my disappointment with the movie, but I'm actually glad that so many others have obviously found the enjoyment that I wanted. The ideas and the scope of this movie are fantastic, at least to begin with, but then alas it fails on the follow-through on any level for me - unresolved plot, script (some absolutely dreadful lines in there!), characters, acting... And I'm still recommending it, albeit guardedly. Go in with much lower expectations, blocking out all memory of Alien, and enjoy the cool CGI, the 'space jockeys', and the creepily non-humanly human android, David. Most of all, hope for a sequel that answers some of those many, MANY unanswered questions!!
Running time: 124 minutes, and still a lot of untold story
Rating: a fear-filled 18
Theatrical release: 1st June 2012
DVD release: tbc
Full cast and crew details can be found on imdb.