Prometheus (Evolution is a hell of a thing)
When I heard that this movie was getting made I didn’t care. I love Alien, and Ridley Scott has the skills to pay the bills but for some reason it just didn’t blip on my radar. Then, holy hell did the hype start pouring in. I checked out the trailer and still wasn’t impressed. Sure it looked like it had high production value but I couldn’t make heads or tails of what it was trying to tell me. It didn’t help that the earliest reports were calling it a prequel to Alien and then by the time trailers were emerging (it seemed like a slightly different one every other week) everyone from camp Prometheus were adamant that it wasn’t really a prequel. It was clearly stated that this was a story that occupied the same universe as Alien and all of its sequels but that it was a story that would launch the events of alien and then run adjacent to the original franchise. So why were their still people confused? Probably because people just don’t read/listen. That’s probably a good lesson to anyone looking to promote future projects: Make sure your first message is the right one because that’s pretty much what us ignorant masses will remember.
I finally broke down and checked it out and I feel as though Ridley Scott just strutted into the theatre I was in, punched out a few pimply-faced theatre employees and blew a fucking hole in the wall with his Prometheus cannon to let the fresh air in. Ladies and gentlemen I have seen the light and it is Prometheus.
(Some small spoilers ahead, consider yourselves warned.)
The film starts off ominously enough, with a strange alien who looks like he is an avid watcher of fitness made simple, drinking some black goo, which results in him dying a horrible death. Cut to the not too distant future of 2089 and we find two archeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway (Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green) in the midst of a major discovery. It seems that throughout earth there are cave drawings that indicate we were the product of alien creation. They dub the aliens “Engineers” and the Weyland Corporation (yeah the same one from Alien) finances a trip to the distant world to find them.
When they finally arrive in 2093 we meet the Crew which is made up of characters that are very much in keeping with the entire feel of the films that came before it. The synthetic David, (Michael Fassbender) The corporate douche (Charlize Theron) The grizzled but weary Captain Janek (Idris Elba) and a bunch of other character types you’ll find in any of the other alien movie are present. The tech they use, the ship they have and the overall feel of “truckers in space” is there also. I defiantly felt like I was watching an Alien movie. That fact is almost a complaint because I found myself a little too familiar with what I was watching at first but thankfully plot elements and characters really surprised me in the end. The biggest question I’ve heard from people is; are their Xenomorphs (Aliens) in the movie? Well I won’t say much more than evolution is a hell of a thing.
The movie was visually breathtaking. It had equal parts gritty industrial and slick, clean and futuristic. The biggest joy for me was the use of practical special effects on many of critters that were running around. It just looked fantastic. There were some moments watching it that I had wished they didn’t use CGI but it’s just the nature of the beast, hint that means two things *wink wink*
Fassbender’s character of David is compelling and is easily the most interesting one of the bunch but I have to say that Noomi Rapace has a scene in the movie that is probably the most stomach turning example of being a badass I’ve ever seen. I’m not saying she’s Ripley level of badass here but damn. Big brass balls award goes to her character. Which reminds me, the deaths and gore in this film are top notch. There is a decent body count and they defiantly earn that R rating.
Some of the things I didn’t really care for were how rushed it seemed towards the end. I also felt like we didn’t get to spend enough time with characters before they were inevitable killed off. I hear that the directors cut is going to have another 20 or so minutes added to it so I have a feeling that will be cleared up. Also I realize it’s just a movie but the idea we would have fully sentient androids, deep space travel, hyper sleep and half of the other things they were using in less than 100 years seems a bit far fetched but whatever it’s a movie.
Finally I’ll address the general complaints I’ve been hearing about too many unanswered questions, or the plot wasn’t solid. While I agree there were unanswered questions Ridley Scott said they would be answered in the sequel if they get one but he worked hard to make sure Prometheus stood on its own. I actually don’t really think that it does. I mean I liked it a lot but not so much that I would deny it suffers from the same pitfalls as any film that is intended to be the first in a trilogy. I am really hoping for a sequel because I loved how it left off.
Prometheus is wonderfully written, visually stunning and full of characters that are destined to become part of pop culture history. There is still room in this world for R rated blockbusters and they don’t have to pander to the audience and Ridley Scott just proved it. Prometheus has busted the lore of the alien universe wide open and I want more.