Newest Review: ... 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 suf... more
Member Name: thedevilinme
Date: 23/10/12, updated on 23/10/12 (55 review reads)
Advantages: Good fun
Disadvantages: Tries to be too profound
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.
Summary: Ridley Scott doing what he does best...