I struggled with the opening line of this review. I think I rewrote it a dozen times and nothing really sounded right. Truth be told, I don’t know how to tell you about Prometheus without having some kind of academic slant to it.
But I’ll do my best.
Prometheus is a movie that we’ve wanted for some time. While Ridley Scott’s original telling of the famous Alien story will live on as a legendary piece of filmmaking, the various attempts to remake and reboot the franchise – and mash it up with seemingly unrelated franchises like Predator – have done very little to give us anything as appealing or unique as the original movie was.
It seemed that if movie makers can’t take the franchise forward, then Scott must return to take it back and show us where it all started. And he did it gloriously.
Prometheus takes place a few hundred years before the events of Alien, and tells the story of a multi-trillion-dollar expedition to an alien world to find a race of beings that could potentially be the creators of all life on Earth – nicknamed “The Engineers”. (But we sci-fi geeks know them as the Space Jockeys).
The name behind the expedition, Weyland, is a name that’s ubiquitous in the Alien universe, and it’s also the name financing the trip to LV-227, a life-sustaining moon orbiting around a planet hundreds of millions of miles away from Earth.
Under the leadership of a company executive, played by Charlize Theron, this rag-tag team of biologists, archaeologists, geologists and mercenaries must explore their destination, and track down these “Engineers” to, no doubt, ask them all the relevant questions about our existence and so on.
Except, what the expedition finds is a deserted base of sorts, which underwent some kind of attack almost 2,000 years ago and has been lying dormant since.
There’s a lot to this movie and you could spend hours evaluating the underlying narrative about the meaning of life, the universe and everything, but that would turn this review into a thesis.
Bottom line, on one hand Prometheus is an epic sci-fi thriller that is as satisfying as a Wimpy Mega Breakfast after a massive night out, and on the other hand it’s a deep and philosophical look into the question “What if everything we believed was wrong?”
I personally loved Prometheus. It’s a beautiful movie, so delicately put together in intricate detail. It’s dark and gritty, probably not to the extent that the original Alien movies were, but it definitely gives you the impression that it’s the same universe.
Although Prometheus isn’t meant to be a direct prequel to Alien, there are enough Easter Eggs to satisfy the Alien fan geeks, but they’re subtle enough to keep people who are complete virgins to the franchise from feeling totally lost.
It’s a movie that any sci-fi or action fan can dive into and enjoy. And it answers a bunch of questions that people have always had about the Alien universe. And, yes, spoiler alert, I mean ALL the questions.
The performances and chemistry between the main cast, which includes Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Idris Alba and Noomi Repace, are fantastic, but I wish I could say the same about the supporting cast, whose token one-liners added very little value to the overall story, other than providing background noise every time something important happened.
If there’s one big complaint I have about Prometheus – and you’d only really pick this up if you were an Alien fan geek – was that there are a lot of inconsistencies between the events in this movie, and what the crew of the Nostromo eventually find in Alien.
This doesn’t take away from the fact that Prometheus was absolutely worth the ten-year wait and Ridley Scott achieved exactly what he had hoped: to create a movie linked to his original masterpiece, but that could also stand alone as an epic, scary, fantastical sci-fi thriller as only he knows how to make.
Thank you Mr. Scott. It’s one of the best 124 minutes I’ve ever spent sitting in one place.
Wash is our resident uber-geek. He sleeps on a pile of comics, speaks fluent Klingon and spends his weekends unleashing all manner of Hell on the battlefields of his PC. If it’s related to gaming, comics, sci-fi or any other form of geekitude… chances are Wash has his sticky paws all over it.