Sunday, June 10, 2012

Prometheus: Movie Review


Cast:  Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender

Writers:  Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof

Director:  Ridley Scott.

***'s out of four.

If this is supposed to be the prequel to events that happened before 1979's "Alien", why does everything on Prometheus (that's the name of the ship) look so pristine and clean while the ship of the Nostromo(The  name of the ship in "Alien")looks all worn down.  On the main deck of Prometheus there is an advanced hologram system, while on the Nostromo one has to enter a large computer room just to receive some text data.  These are really just minor complaints, because this movie by itself is really entertaining.  For those of you who have not seen any movie from this franchise, especially the first, you are going to have lots of fun with this.  But for others like me who are fans, not as much.

Archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall Green) have discovered cave paintings from different countries that all show the same drawings of a man praying to some planets.  I have a feeling that the person who drew this was one of the first caricature painters ever.

"So, what do you like to do?"  Asks the artist.

"I like to hunt and gather food."  Says the customer.

"Well I'm just going to draw you praying to some planets, O.K."

It turns out that the drawings, when formed together, show a map to a new planet where apparently life was generated from.  No other scientific fact was established to test this theory, it doesn't really matter as long as we get them there, but that aspect of the story could have been better executed.  The ship is run by Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) who, along with her crew (Idris Elbra, and Michael Fassbender to name a few), help bring the two scientists to their destination.  When they get there they discover some land that appears to be Terra Formed, but by who?  While researching this land, some of the crew members become infected by a virus whose effects are unclear.

The first half of this movie is similar to the tone of "Alien", but it doesn't have the same sense of claustrophobia or isolation.  It still is very good and I was never bored when watching it, but it's hard for me not to compare since this is being labeled as a prequel.  The second half of the movie wants to please action fans, so it switches gears to become in sync with James Cameron's "Aliens".  It's not a problem and there is a scene where Elizabeth has to perform emergency surgery on herself that is really effective and has nice suspense.  It just changes tones too early, in my opinion.  The look of the film is really quite good and some other directors wouldn't have put that much detail into it.  I'm glad Ridley hasn't lost his touch in giving us great visuals.

The actors are all really good and I'm glad Noomi Rapace is getting more roles in the U.S..  Michael Fassbender is fine as the android David (this is established pretty early in the movie and is not a spoiler) and it made me wish there was another movie that focuses solely on this character.  The only casting problem I had was Charlize Theron as the militant/business leader of the ship.  She just didn't come across as cold as I'm sure the script described her.

"Prometheus" does answer questions I'm sure a lot of fans have asked before about this series.  While the answer in indeed creative and interesting, it kind of removed the element that made the first one so damn scary.  Some things are better without an explanation.  I heavily enjoyed watching all the "Alien" films and could watch them again and again.  However, while I would see this one again, it's not something I would want to own.

Thanks to Mary for editing.


  1. Fassbender was really good, so I'm glad that *spoiler alert* he'll potentially be it the likely sequel...

  2. i hope in the sequel Fassbender's android teams up with Hal and they start a detective agency that later turns into a brothel

  3. A possible explanation behind the tech difference between Alien and Prometheus could be that the Nostromo was a scavenger vessel - they were space truckers. Though why does the Prometheus have better technology than the space marines in Aliens? *shrug

    Great review. I've heard a bunch of various opinions of this movie and I'm a a fan of both Ridley Scott and screenwriter Damon Lindelof so I'm sold on seeing this asap.

  4. I like how you note the switch in tone between the two halves of the movie. It's one of the things that bothered me, Vern. I understand why it did it though.

    I didnt really have any issues with the "Star Map" that they follow... it was a decent enough rationale. What I did have issue with is why, once they got there did things turn into a battle.

    Prectically none of the hostilities had any motivation at all.

  5. Alex. Yeah that's true, Wayland wouldn't dare give their best equipment to The Nostromo once you learn why they are sent there. I recomend seeing it. Thanks for the comment

    Fogs I agree with you bout the hostilities having little or no motivation. That first scene really throws me off. I'll have to see this again soon. Thanks for the comment

  6. I love Alien, Aliens not so much. I adored Prometheus. I think it's prequel in the sense evenets happen before those in Alien, however the term prequel is misleading here, since the most important thing here is that this film doesn't link us to Alien, but expands its universe.

    1. Prometheus does things in the science fiction genre that we haven's seen in a while and I appreciated that very much. I suppose you could watch this and not think of those connections, but it's hard to do. Thanks for commenting.

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