Review: Prometheus (2012)
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written by: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Genre: Horror / Sci-Fi
MPAA: Rated R
Released: 8 June 2012
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong, Kate Dickie,
Synopsis: A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
My Thoughts: In 1979, filmmaker Ridley Scott terrified audiences everywhere with Alien; a franchise that would deliver – over the course of 33 years – three sequels and two conjoining spinoff non-cannon films, as well as an array of rich content spanning through books, comics, video games etc etc… But one question that has always boggled the minds of viewers; where did the ‘Alien’ (Xenomorph) come from? How did it come to be? And why does it have striking hominoid like features? But more importantly who was the gigantic dead alien we’ve all come to know as the “Space Jockey” sitting in the pilot’s chair? For some three decades we’ve asked this question, and for three long decades fans waited for the man who started it all to show us.
I was about 6 years old the first time I watched Alien, and unlike most children I was not afraid by the sight of the two mouthed Xenomorphs. Instead I was in amazement over how incredibly interesting the mere sight of them were, I wanted to know more about them, where they were from, why they had two mouths and why they needed facehuggers to transplant their fertile eggs into us and use us as living breathing incubator for their race. After three long decades of being absent from the science fiction genre in which Scott himself help revolutionize with films like ‘Alien’ and ‘Blade Runner’ he has now returned once more to tell us the tale of how it all began, or as Mr. Dryden from Lawrence of Arabia (1968) would say: “big things have small beginnings”.
Taking place 29 years before the events of Alien, Prometheus takes us on a chilling journey to where it all began, following a team of explorers on a 2 year space voyage paid for by the Weyland Corporation to uncover the clues to what they believe is mankind’s true origin, but the truth they seek have consequences that may lead them to unspeakable horrors. I have been waiting years for a true film to be made in the Alien franchise, and after suffering through AVP (Alien vs. Predator) and AVP: Requiem, I welcomed the news of an Alien prequel with open arms. My only concern however, was how it would pan out. I was astonished by how well the finished product turned out. Prometheus was indeed a nostalgic journey down memory lane for someone such as myself, from the interior and exterior of the spaceship to its band of misfit crew, Prometheus brought me back to what intrigued me about the franchise as a child, and brought forth with it answers to questions I’ve long waited for. Ridley Scott also brought back the horror element into the series which I feel became somewhat absent after James Cameron decided to go the route of action sci-fi rather than keeping with the theme Scott started out with in the previous Alien film. However that’s not to say Cameron’s take on the series was at all inferior to Scott’s Alien, just different in theme.
In Prometheus Scott dropped the action theme and returned it to its glorious roots of Sci-fi horror and placed the film’s main focus on the story itself rather than on quick cheap chills and thrills for shock value. But what makes this film so astonishing is the fact that while it is indeed a prequel to the Alien franchise, it doesn’t rely on it fully. You don’t have to watch the previous Alien films nor do you require any knowledge of them to see this. Prometheus is a film that stands strongly on its own two feet with a standalone story that doesn’t require the backbone of the Alien franchise for stability. However, with that being said I was amazed at some of the stuff Scott was allowed to get away with by the studios here. Certain elements in the film places a few touchy subjects into question almost from the start which will most likely leave some unnerved, especially those of a strong spiritual background, so for this I have to say is not a film for everyone.
As for the acting: much like Scott’s previous films, Prometheus had a very solid cast. First up was Noomi Rapace: You may remember as the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She delivered a stellar performance in the role of Elizabeth Shaw. I was very unfamiliar with Rapace’s background in film prior to TGWTDT so I can’t say about her past. However with that being said, I’ve really taken a liking to her ability to take on strong leading female roles. She has delivered nothing short of astonishing thus far. Charlize Theron is on a roll this year, playing strong hardened female characters back to back with Snow White and the Huntsman and now Prometheus. Theron, who plays Vickers – the corporate liaison who oversees the operation for the Waylon Corporation, is harden and cold hearted to the bone and only looks out for the company’s interests. Theron pulls of this sinister role without breaking a sweat and makes her presence undoubtedly noticed whenever on screen. Michael Fassbender, whom has been a part of an array of amazing franchises and films as of recently, delivers a superb performance here; his presence in the film equals none except for Theron. Logan Marshall-Green preformed quite well in the film, though I felt his presence was lacking, especially his chemistry with Rapace , which wasn’t really all that strong. For someone who’s supposed to play second fiddle to Rapace as her partner I think he could have done a lot better. However with that being said about the minor hiccup in the cast, what I found to be the most astonishing appeal to Prometheus was the choice in casting. Unlike most big budget films like this, the cast wasn’t completely Americanized which I’ve always found to be a total cliché in most big budget sci-fi’s. With Prometheus the support cast was mostly British, which was a decent change of pace for a change with a support cast like: Idris Elba, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Emun Elliott, Kate Dickie, Benedict Wong, and Guy Pearce.
Finale Say: With a strong plot and gorgeous special effect, Prometheus exceeded my expectations in every aspect and left me questioning why Ridley Scott ever left the sci-fi genre. I highly recommend!