Review of Prometheus


So is it the “Alien” prequel or not? That’s the question that’s been burning up blogs since it was announced “Prometheus” would be director Ridley Scotts first foray into science fiction since “Blade Runner”. But aliens would sooner pop out my stomach than I reveal something that big. What I will say is Scott is back on the top of his game here, starting right from the opening scene where a man literally falls apart in an almost barren wasteland.

Noomie Rapace, the original Lisbeth Salander, nicely anchors the film as Elle, a scientist who along with her partner (Logan Marshall-Green) believes they’ve found a space map during an archaeological dig that will lead them to the first beings, the creators of mankind. After two years in cryo-sleep, the two and their space crew have followed the map to another planet, one with rocky terrain, deep caves, and steamy water-falls. This will be our setting, other than inside their space ship, for most of the film.

This all makes the ships commander (Charlize Theron) a little reluctant but the rest are ready to see what this planet has in store for them, and hopefully meet their makers.

The planet is dark, intriguing, and obviously foreboding, and Scott has done a masterful job of creating both suspense and awe toward everything these characters come in contact with. Soon ghostly holograms, mysterious urns, a severed head, and more all lead to more questions. There are great gruesome moments here (deaths from a slithering snake-like creature, Elle’s C-section) and lots of explosions and flawless effects (a rocky hail storm) that thrill.

But there is also an interest in the nature of creation and our existence that the script does a nice job of ruminating on early on, the best stuff coming from the crew’s robot-helper David (Michael Fassbender, giving the film’s best performance). But just like his work on “Lost”, screenwriter Damon Lindelof, along with co-writer John Spaihts, decides to pile on more questions than make any bold story-telling leaps. And where we expect discovery, humanity, and the characters for that matter to really shine through, we instead get creature-feature action for a finale.

And so “Prometheus” doesn’t make good on its earlier promises. That’s pretty disappointing considering its length and brilliant start but Scott has still put together one heck of a blockbuster; atmospheric, terrifying, and outstanding to look at.

Tags: Prometheus