Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is an epic-sized tableau full of a number of meditations on quite a lot of massive questions. But let’s get the most important query out of the way proper up-prime. Is it a prequel to Alien? Sure. In fact it is a prequel to Alien. When seen in hindsight, the filmmakers’ hemming and hawing and misdirected “Take a look at that!” over the previous couple of years as they ran in the alternative route whenever the query arose appears a bit foolish. So, sure, Prometheus is about in the same universe as the Alien collection, and sure, it’s set before the first movie in stated series. Seems to satisfy the bottom requirements of a prequel to me.
With that out of the best way, the second query that’s dogged viewers from even earlier than Fox rolled out the large publicity push all of the method to now could be what exactly Prometheus is about. This one is a little tougher to pin down. It’s about plenty of things. The beginnings of life. Man’s place within the universe. The bond between dad and mom and children. However most significantly, it is about Scott returning to the genre he served so properly and that in turn served him so properly, to show he still has what it takes to make his mark. Properly, he does, and he does. And if Prometheus doesn’t quite measure up to the loftiness of its aspirations, that does not make it a experience that is any much less price taking.
Beginning in the yr 2089 (after a brief pitstop on the daybreak of time), movie follows scientist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), whose discovery of historical ruins with some connection to extraterrestrials factors the way to a different world that will just be populated by our makers. Lower to 4 years later, and Shaw is a part of a crew of scientists gathered collectively by Weyland Industries (hmm, where have I heard that name?) on the house ship Prometheus, now arrived on the planet they have been directed to by the relics. Whereas this team of explorers sets out searching for the that means of life, the secrets and techniques they discover could nicely find yourself main them to their deaths.
There’s so much to like in Prometheus, beginning with the production design and general visualization. This isn’t any huge shock coming from Ridley Scott, one of the best directors of this or another era. It is clear with each frame that he relishes the opportunity to revisit the world of Alien three decades on with the good thing about the experience he’s gained since. The production design by Arthur Max nicely incorporates the aesthetics of Ron Cobb & Chris Foss, and likewise of H.R. Giger from the original Alien. Stylistically and aesthetically, this is very a lot of a piece with the sooner work.
Structurally, nonetheless, there are some major issues with pacing and primary logic, and the bigger share of blame there has to go to the script by Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts, which doesn’t lack in scope or ambition, but does stumble when making an attempt to measure up to them. As first envisioned, Prometheus was supposed to be more of a straight-forward prequel that will have cleanly laid the pipe for Alien without all the cloak-and-dagger stuff about whether it does or it would not. Lindelof’s major contribution was to make the Alien stuff extra tangential, allowing the works to have a connection, but in addition permitting that movie and franchise to face separately.
This ends up being both a plus and a minus. The tendrils connecting this to Alien are there. They can’t be escaped. The ship the scientists discover is of the same design as the one discovered by the Nostromo crew in Alien. The “engineers” the scientists are searching for, who they imagine created life on Earth, are of the identical species as the “house jockey” that we saw in Alien as a petrified corpse. These connections could indeed be tangential, but they’re tangible all the identical, and so it’s impossible not to view Prometheus with out measuring it — perhaps unfairly — against its older cousin.
In that sense, Prometheus lacks the readability of focus that the earlier movie had. Just like the creature from which it took its title, Alien was a perfect organism. No time or area was wasted, and every second of runtime had a practical reason for being there. With Prometheus, however, there’s somewhat a lot breathing room. Too many digressions and useless-ends that, while fascinating and engaging on their own, don’t do much to make the general expertise any extra fulfilling. Additional, the seams are just a little too obvious at the joint the place Scott’s Large Ideas film in the mold of Kubrick’s 2001 bumps up against a horror movie within the mold of… well, Ridley Scott’s Alien.
If all that sounds unnecessarily detrimental, it’s not meant to be. As mentioned, the results and world constructing are breathtaking, and each benefit from the added scope and dimension of IMAX and 3D (precise, not publish-transformed). And many of the characters are given extra depth than they’re due by the across-the-board glorious forged, which includes Idris Elba as the ship’s skipper, and Charlize Theron as a representative of the corporate (hmm… surprise if she knows more than she’s letting on? This being the Weyland firm, what do you suppose?). Whereas Rapace is not any patch on Sigourney Weaver, she nonetheless acquits herself very properly as a girl making an attempt to stability her religious beliefs with pursuit of scientific knowledge.
The unquestionable standout in this cast, simply as he was in last year’s X-Men: First Class, is Michael Fassbender as David, a Weyland Industries android that serves as progenitor to the Alien sequence’ Ash and Men’s R2D2 War Print Long Sleeve T-Shirt Bishop. Unfortunately, as with the opposite characters, his arc is undernourished, along with his habits vacillating between naive and sinister a bit too haphazardly. Nonetheless, Fassbender lends exceptional depth to the character regardless of these limitations, to the purpose that Prometheus is simply as a lot about David’s journey of identity as it’s about Shaw’s journey of discovery.
By the time Prometheus reaches the close of its third act (with an in-credits tie-in to Alien that is just confusing), there are a couple of too many questions left hanging and some too many plotholes left nagging. These might be chalked up to planned ambiguity, planned sequel setup, or easy sloppiness depending fully on how forgiving you are while you watch. If I had to guess, I would say it is just a little of all three. But in a world the place your average summer time blockbuster is content to bombard audiences with sound and fury and lull them into obeisance (like this one, ferinstance), Prometheus tries to do one thing just a little more thought-scary. And even when its attain would not fairly meet its grasp, it still deserves to be seen.