Release Date: June 8, 2012
Director: Ridley Scott
MPAA Rating: R
Film Pulse Score: 7.5/10
In 1979, a young filmmaker by the name of Ridley Scott created a science fiction/horror film titled Alien. The movie became an instant classic, won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, and paved the way for three sequels. For years Scott has been talking about returning to the Alien mythos, and now, 33 years later, we have Prometheus. But does this highly anticipated “prequel” live up to expectations? For the most part, yes it does.
Beginning in the year 2089, Prometheus revolves around a crew travelling to, and investigating a planet, which they believe, holds the key to the creation of human beings. They quickly find more than they bargained for, and the fight for survival begins.
As with the original Alien, the crew of the Prometheus is comprised of a varied group of colorful and interesting characters. You have Shaw, the heroine, played by Noomi Rapace, Holloway, the love interest, played by Logan Marshall-Green, David, the creepy android, played by Michael Fassbender, Janek, the badass captain, played by Idris Elba, Vickers, the domineering boss, played by Charlize Theron, and some smaller, more expendable characters.
While all the actors do an excellent job, the breakout performances are clearly Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender. The commitment and dedication Rapace gives to this role seems palpable. She has clearly become the next Ellen Ripley, and that’s not a bad thing. Fassbender also gives an equally good, but polar opposite performance as David the android. Why Noomi Rapace spends the majority of the movie running an emotional gauntlet while also in excruciating pain, Fassbender maintains a disturbingly calm demeanor, even through the most turbulent times in the film. It’s a performance that will make you wonder if he really is an android, built to be an amazing actor and dominate every role he’s cast in.
In addition to some fine acting talent, we’re also given some outstanding visuals. From the giant action set pieces, to the simple, elegant design of the rooms inside The Prometheus itself, this film was spectacular to look at. Moreover, the subtle use of native 3D filming adds more depth and aids in immersing you into this world, much like Avatar or Hugo. Fans of the first two Alien films will find a lot to love about the look and feel of Prometheus.
There are some slight problems with this film, however, involving the plot itself. There are several noticeable plot holes and continuity issues throughout the film, and by the climax, you’re left with more questions than answers. It’s unfortunate when a movie like this is so close to being something truly great, but gets held back by the incongruities of the story. It seems clear that they are setting everything up for a sequel, but things are still left under explained.
Taking those criticisms into consideration, this is still a fantastic film. Not only is it a return to form for Ridley Scott, it could also revitalize the Alien franchise, which it desperately needs after two horrible Aliens vs. Predator movies. Prometheus probably won’t have the lasting power of Alien, but it is well-made, suspenseful, and has some compelling themes, all of which make for a great summer blockbuster.