It’s not an Alien prequel, they said. It’s just set in the same universe, they said. Whatever the warnings, Prometheus is still a film that shouldn’t disappoint. It explores the universe of Alien, and if you are exploring the universe of something it could ruin how you view the original. So, what does Prometheus contribute to one of the greatest films of all time? Find out in my spoilerish review after the break.
I warn you right now: If you are looking for more information on the Alien story, you won’t get much. Anything you learn about them is almost accidental because it’s not even on the same moon planet. Instead, we focus more on our “Engineers,” the alien species that created us. Whatever questions you had about the Alien movie, ignore it. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s give proper respect to the characters. We have Micheal Fassbender playing David, an android/son of Weyland, and ironically he’s the most interesting character there. Being the creation of humans, and humans finding their creators, gives us a very interesting viewpoint. Charlize Theron plays Meredith Vickers, the owner of Prometheus, and Noomi Rapace plays Elizabeth Shaw, one of the scientists that lead the mission. Together they make up the Ripley-esque character we see in any Alien-related movie and while not in any way impressive, they are all fun to watch. Idris Elba is the captain and consequently the only black guy on the ship, which typically forces some fun tropes. Everyone else is overshadowed. They weren’t painful to watch, but they weren’t amazing either, with the exception of David.
These characters didn’t allow for a legendary story some people were hoping, and it didn’t even give us a great one. It was good at best; competent at its worst. It isn’t an action story or even horror, it’s exploration that you would feel in something like 2001: A Space Odyssey. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not the kind of movie you expect to see with such big budget and confidence nowadays. In a world were we focus so much on eye candy and explosions, it’s a nice surprise to have a space exploration film with philosophy tagging along. There is a lot of the Alien mythos explained while still getting your fair share of creatures, even though none of it actually relates to Alien’s story. Anything that gives you that illusion is a marketing tool. That’s my biggest problem with the movie, because even the movie itself drops hints at Alien to get you interested but then takes you on a different direction that you didn’t ask for. The ending was a piss poor excuse for an apology and felt extremely forced. The two different sets in the movie are wonderful, though. It’s a bit redundant, but there is plenty of detail to keep you interested. However, don’t bother with 3D.
The movie by itself is nothing big. The universe of Alien is more understood, but it was answering questions I wasn’t asking in the first place. It was more disgusting than frightening, and in the end, it’s a philosophical movie Ridley Scott wanted to make, but couldn’t market it without giving it an Alien look. It wasn’t bad, and I didn’t hate it, just disappointed.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars