Film Review: Prometheus (2012)


“Prometheus” is incredible. It’s a grand, epic thrill ride from start to finish that rarely lets up in terms of shock and mystery, whist still managing to tend to the storyline in such a great way. For those wanting answers from the “Alien” franchise here in “Prometheus”, you’re going to be disappointed, for the film creates (and answers) more of its own, as director Ridley Scott aims to create a new, modern-day franchise to scare a whole new generation. For me, someone who has only seen the original “Alien” film once, and only recently, I really enjoyed “Prometheus”. It felt fresh and exciting, almost a reboot of the classics, as there were obvious links to each other, but rather than the two sets of films being brothers or sisters, they were more distant relatives, sharing the same strands of DNA (you’ll get it if you’ve seen it!). The film’s open ending too, gives hope for sequel to finish off theories and unanswered questions that currently plague the Internet.

The set up is this, then: Dr’s Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) have made several discoveries on Earth, linking several ancient civilisations to a set of star constellations. They see it as an ‘invitation’ to find out who our creators were. Thus, a band of hardy wealthy-hungry mercenaries are recruited and shipped off to the distant stars, to answer the ultimate question: who created humans?

Obviously, you have to go with the film to be able to properly enjoy it, whatever you are religiously, forget it! In fact, several of the film’s characters have mini-discussions about how discoveries effect their various beliefs, which is interesting for the reasons that it is human nature, and something real people would do. The characters were diverse in range, with the aforementioned scientist couple, played excellently by Swedish “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Rapace, and relative newcomer Marshall-Green, really excited about the possibilities, the pilot of the craft, Idris Elba, seemingly non too plussed about the whole journey, despite the fact it’s cost him 2 years of his lifetime through sleeping to get there! We have the ice-cold Charlize Theron in another hard, tight-lipped role for the second week running, following the previous ‘Queen’ role in “Snow White & the Huntsman”, as a Weyland (the company who ran the mission) executive, who has strict orders not to interact with any life-forms they may find, a couple of generic, greedy engineers and David.

David is the best character in the film, BY FAR. Michael Fassbender, who is fast becoming the world’s finest actor, tears the screen apart as android David, who we first experience as the sole inhabiter of the titular ship, as the rest of the crew sleep. We watch as his creepy movements are performed to perfection, and he interacts with the environment around him, delving into his crews brains as he goes, watching classic films, casually playing basketball whilst riding a bike and brushing up on his ancient languages, like you do. He’s a mysterious character, who everyone seems on edge with, never quite trusting, not knowing his motives, or indeed, if he haves any motives. The audience may expect him to be distant, attached from the rest of the group, perhaps an elaborate scienceexperiment, but during the movie we find him to be one of the most human of the lot. For further evidence of just what an excellent performance Fassbender made, and for David’s creepiness levels, check out his advert, released as a viral video for “Prometheus'” promotion.

The film’s plot is always transparent, we know what the crew’s goal is right from the off, and the shocks, thrills and spills that follow them are intoxicating. Yes, at times, it plays upon the audience, making them wait for the next potential outburst of violence, and Scott has a fine tendency to switch wildly from various groups of the crew, to the other, to the ship and back again. However, it isn’t a massive issue and you soon get used to the quick, back-and-forth nature of the narrative. I won’t go into specific plot details, as you’ll want to go into the film as cold as possible on information, but it is brilliant. The revelations are shocking, but require the audience to create their own answers to a few questions, some that may be brought up in a potential pre-sequel (see what I did there?!) and some that may not. Some say this is a result of writer Damon Lindelof, of “Lost” fame, influence on the script, as that series was full of twists and turns, that some say, were never truly resolved. Again though, there’s nothing mind-bendingly awful about it at all, nothing that’ll make you come storming out of the cinema in rage. The film’s horrific moments are good too, with a few jumps, splattering’s of gore, but most importantly, tension, a device rarely used in mainstream, blockbuster films, which, with a budget of $140m, is what “Prometheus” is. At a 15 certificate it pushes the boundaries, but just about manages it, I do wonder with a rumoured 30 minutes cut from the film, already a meaty 2hours long, could we see a truly epic, 2 and half hour, 18 rated uncut edition released that would satisfy disgruntled “Alien” fans?

Prometheus” is an excellent film and caters to different audiences rather well, not treating them like total idiots, but as intelligent human beings. The story is ambitious and grand in scale, but, in my opinion, manages to pull it off, delivering a tightly bound film, that will entertain and scare in moderation. Oh and if there’s any further doubt as to whether “Prometheus”, is a prequel or not, just wait till the very, very end.

9/10


7 thoughts on “Film Review: Prometheus (2012)

  1. Good call with the viral vid inclusion, really effective promo release. Sadly, Fassbender was one of the only things that worked for me with Prometheus, as I found the film pretty disappointing. Liked your review though; considering the majority of people are ripping into Prometheus, it’s nice to have a counter-opinion, especially from someone who has only just seen Alien. Will definitely give the film a second watch, but I fear many of my issues will not be dispelled.

    Keep it up man.

  2. good review man, i’m glad you enjoyed it. unfortunately i can’t say i enjoyed the film as much as you did. prometheus was good, but not what i was expecting. the film did look incredble, had a great atmosphere and had a fab performance from michael fassbender, but other than that i the film just didn’t float my boat the way i hoped it would.

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