It’s been over three years since Ridley Scott announced he’d be returning to the sci-fi/extra-terrestrial genre that he played a big part in crafting. Which in turn played a big hand in making his name. So naturally, speculation began that his latest project Prometheus was to be the long awaited and often alluded to Alien (1979) prequel. Cast and crew, including Scott himself have both fueled and denied the rumors consistently. But now it’s time for audiences everywhere to find out for themselves.
Following a gripping and crucial prologue the story begins to feel classically atmospheric only moments into the first few scenes. From the shiny, white sets of the starship to the fuzzy, green computer text projected onto the characters’ bodies as they pass by, you can feel you’re watching textbook Ridley Scott at work – and it’s good. If it feels slow to start it’s only because the story is so imaginative, unique and thought-provoking that it needs your full attention before getting into the meat. And really, it doesn’t feel too long before it does. After being introduced to the standard group of varied characters (the geeky one, the greedy one, the diplomatic one), their floating home and their parlous mission, we quickly move on to feeling the same enthusiasm for the mission as the characters themselves, and it’s not long before the excitement and intrigue picks up.
Our team made up of scientists, pilots and corporate suits land their trusty ship Prometheus on a newly discovered planet after decoding the cave drawings and symbols of ancient, human civilizations. “Not a map” we’re assured, “but an invitation”. Who made us? Why are we here? Where did we come from? The crew of Prometheus are close to uncovering secrets beyond our wildest speculations, and it’s going to get messy. Not only does the 3D truly enhance some of the space shots and stunning visual effects but the film itself is a great sci-fi thriller movie experience. The kind we’ve missed since Aliens, Terminator 2 and Blade Runner. Sadly though, It’s not for everyone. Unless you have even a mild interest in astronomy, philosophy or existentialism the events might begin to drag a little, which could mean a good enough excuse to stop paying attention. But trust me, a bit of commitment can go a long way.
With drama, tension, thrills and horror you genuinely begin to care about the actions and consequences of the characters, meaning you feel real fear and hesitation when it feels as though something bad is going to happen. And when it does, it barely lets up…
If you’re a fan of Scott’s earlier sci-fi films including Alien and Blade Runner you’ll appreciate the care and effort that’s gone into creating a living, breathing universe that could play host to more stories to come. Organic, yet creepy and unsettling performances from Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender also make it a worthwhile watch. It’s also one of the best uses of 3D since James Cameron’s pioneering Avatar (2009).
If you prefer your storytelling straight, simple and light then you’re likely to become either lost, bored or frustrated with PROMETHEUS. Seemingly odd plot points and actions require patience and trust for the pay-offs.
I happily award [rating:4.5]. Half a point is deducted for occasionally unclear moments in the action and for Guy Pearce’s unnecessarily inferior facial prosthetics.