When I first heard Ridley Scott was making this film it was a prequel to his 1979 science fiction horror classic Alien. Without giving anything away it is only technically a prequel since it deals events in the same fictional universe prior to the events in Alien or its sequels but it isn’t really an Alien film. I had held back from watching the recent trailers and supplementary films but there’s was no need to worry since in this case they don’ t really reveal much and the supplementary films provide background not covered in the film itself, especially the TED talk by Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) and the fake advert for the android David (Michael Fassbender).
A pair of archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover that many cultures have references to a race of giants from a distant star system. Shaw and Holloway believe these people engineered our species and they convince the Weyland Corporation to send a mission to this distant system to meet our makers. The mission includes various other scientists and in charge is Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) from Weyland who is accompanied by her android David. They are travelling there on the Weyland deep space exploration ship Prometheus which is captained by Janek (Idris Elba). When Prometheus gets to their destination David awakes the crew and passengers from hibernation and they land on the large moon of a gas giant next to a large hollow mound that has clearly been constructed by an alien race.
I won’t go into spoilery specifics about what happens next but they explore the mound and come up with more questions than answers about what the beings who built it were up to. The pure motives of the explorers Shaw and Holloway comes into conflict with those of Weyland Industries and things go very wrong when they start to discover more what happened to the giant aliens.
This is a pretty good solid science fiction film. It really isn’t an Alien film but it is an exploration of the universe that led to the Alien films. In an interview Ridley Scott had expressed surprise that a lot of elements of Alien had not been explored in sequels such as the giant alien they found dead on its ship. This film goes into the background of that a bit more but it also raises more questions than it answers
The main performances were good but a lot of the background charters felt only lightly sketched and seemed to be written to serve the story more than real people . This a big contrast with Alien that really had fairly strong individual characters. Noomi Rapace was great as Elizabeth Ward and she is one of the characters who develops through the film into (of course) a Ripley-type character. Michael Fassbender was really good as the creepy android who keeps saying things you really wish were not in the mind of an android. There were certainly strong similarities with the replicant character Roy Batty in Blade Runner. Charlize Theron is okay as the cold company executive but she really doesn’t get that much to play with. There isn’t a lot of action or gore but there is enough for the type science fiction that it is. The ending was okay but it was really a brazen piece of sequel baiting. I doubt that this will be only version of the film released and I wonder what extra footage will be included on the Director’s cut
- Rotten Tomatoes
- Prometheus – Review (moviegeekblog.wordpress.com)
- “Are You Seeing This Ridley?” PROMETHEUS Review Has Landed! (thepeoplesmovies.com)
- Film Review No.130: Prometheus (filmdump.com)