NOTE: No spoilers here. Just some minor plot information revealed in the first couple minutes of the movie, and what has been shown in the trailers.
Prometheus is one of the most anticipated films of the year, with it being Ridley Scott’s return to sci-fi after thirty years since Blade Runner, and also its story’s involvement in the Alien world, whether it is a prequel or not. Lost writer Damon Lindelof rewrote a screenplay originally written by Jon Spaihts (whose only other film is The Darkest Hour…yeah, this probably did need a rewrite), as he seemed like the right man to reveal and create even more mysteries in this sci-fi epic. The movie also has an all-star cast, including Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, and Noomi Rapace, who you may recognize from the last Sherlock Holmes movie but is most known as the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and she plays the main protagonist in this one. To our surprise, 20th Century Fox has seemed to give Ridley Scott and his crew much creative control, as the movie is rated R and on a $120-130M budget, which is very rare for a tentpole movie / blockbuster to do today. Fans rejoiced this movie’s devotion to keeping true to itself, as everything about it seemed right in line with what they expect. So, with all that hype, did it live up to it? Not exactly, but we still got a solid sci-fi film, and seriously, we don’t get much of those now.
The movie starts off with us meeting Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and Dr. Charlie Holloway, played by Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green (yes, he does look like Tom Hardy), two archaeologists who have discovered multiple cave paintings across various cultures that point to certain stars, believing it is a sign from humanity’s creators, and that they must find them. The Weyland Corporation decides to invest in this project by creating the ship, Prometheus, to bring them there. Four years later, they arrive, waking up to meet their shipmates, including Michael Fassbender as David, the android of the ship, and Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers, an employee from the Weyland Corporation who watches over this investigation, but wants no association with it, and is also very suspicious. From there, the crew discovers a cave and as they research it…well, let’s just say things get way out of hand. Damon Lindelof seems like he knew what was best for this movie by showing very little, but throwing some surprises here and there. That is probably the biggest flaw of the movie. I don’t mind having many questions by the end of the movie, but if you’re going to do it by just not explaining or even mentioning important things, it is a bit manipulative towards the audience. ESPECIALLY if this is supposedly an Alien prequel, where we are supposed to get our questions answered. The script is lacking the meat of what could have been a fantastic sci-fi story, but instead, it leaves the movie with the option of a sequel, and I was not hoping for that. It kind of makes the movie feel incomplete, and I guess that it’s a good thing that I want more, but I want more out of Prometheus, not Prometheus 2, or whatever it will be called.
Though aside from the script, the movie still has a lot of great things that I really appreciate. Ridley Scott still does a fine job at directing the film, which is really a visual masterpiece. The movie is very thrilling throughout, as you can feel the grand stakes being put onto these characters. It does follow similar beats to the Alien movies, and although many may consider it as ripping off since it’s trying to be its own thing, I enjoyed it. It may be style over story for this movie, but it’s really entertaining to watch in 3D. I really liked the cast, too, as Noomi Rapace is an awesome sci-fi heroine, and this proves her potential for more mainstream success in the future. I’ve never seen Logan Marshall-Green before, but he brought a lot of likability and enthusiasm to his character, which I was happy to see in a movie that feels extremely serious the whole time. Charlize Theron is also really good as a minor antagonist to the film (She is just good at being bad, huh?) and Idris Elba provides some really funny comic relief. Though easily the highlight of the cast is Michael Fassbender as David. I don’t want to connect this movie to Alien (like I haven’t already), but when it comes to the android characters, David is probably my favorite now. In the movie that speaks a lot about our creators, Fassbender does an incredible job in his line delivery, making us suspect there is much more to him than we realize.
The movie’s big message is that there could be higher powers, but it is up to what we believe. It is a familiar but interesting concept that could have been touched on better if the script wasn’t so vague about it. Like I said, the movie feels like it’s full of answers, but it holds it back to show it in another story for no reason. At this point, I think I’ve made it straightforward that if it wasn’t for the script, we could have had one of the best movies of the year, but we still got a fun summer flick. Try going into this movie not thinking about Alien, even with the many connections throughout. The movie wants to separate itself from the franchise, so the last thing it wants is to be compared. With an open mind, this is a very exciting sci-fi thriller that should be seen on the big screen (IMAX, if you can), and it’s also a great movie to discuss with your friends. The script, for better or worse, leaves you wondering so many things about the movie, and maybe, life itself.