Prometheus Review *Spoilers*
Prometheus marks Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated return to science fiction/horror after a 30 year absence from the genre. The film, once again, proves that Scott is a masterful film maker, particularly within this genre. But is it a perfect film? The answer is no, but it certainly comes close.
The film takes its viewers on a journey to the corners of the universe to address questions regarding the origins of mankind. We follow a group of scientists, led by Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), who have discovered clues on Earth that indicate a possible extraterrestrial hand in the creation of the human race. 2 years later, Shaw, Holloway, and their team of biologists and geologists are on their way to a newly discovered planet to find answers. They are backed by the Weyland Corporation and one of their cold-hearted employees, Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron). While Shaw and Holloway wish to find answers to questions that have stumped mankind for all of its existence, Weyland Corp. has an agenda that is more self-serving. Of course, like any movie of this genre, the scientists explore the planet, study the flora and fauna, tamper with things that shouldn’t be touched, and, one by one, die very gruesome deaths.
The first thing that anyone will notice about the film is the visuals. In short, they are stunning. Dariusz Wolski (the film’s cinematographer) paints gorgeous environments throughout the duration of the movie. From the rocky terrain of Scotland and the interior of the spaceship Prometheus (hence the film title), to the bleak and seemingly barren surface of LV-223 (the place where all hell breaks loose), its hard for any filmgoer to look away (note: I saw this in 2D, I can’t imagine how incredible 3D must have been).
As a moviegoer and a harsh critic of the horror genre (because most movies in the genre are completely stupid), I am not easily scared. While I can’t say I slept poorly after watching Prometheus, the film will make your skin crawl. One scene involving Shaw on an operating table trying to extract an alien life-form from her body will make even the most hardened horror fans cringe. On top of that, scenes involving alien life-forms infecting humans are plentiful throughout the film, so don’t be surprised to find yourself looking away during these scenes.
The cast does a fantastic job in this movie, and its great to see everyone each get a little time to shine (some more than others of course). Rapace is great as Shaw. She plays the scientist gone survivor very well, showcasing how adept and strong a survivor she is, without ever sacrificing her good nature. Green does well as Holloway, Shaw’s smug and roguish boyfriend who, while generally good natured, comes across as unappreciative of his fellow crew mates’ efforts (much to his detriment later on in the movie). Theron is stone-cold as Vickers. Her dark demeanor and bitter nature never relent throughout the entire movie. Idris Elba also does well as Janek, captain of the Prometheus. He provides great comic relief throughout what is an otherwise very dark film.
However, the performance that stands out the most is Michael Fassbender as David. David is an android who serves as an assistant to the crew of the Prometheus. David has no emotions, yet is curious about the world around him and desires to learn as much as possible. He is of great service to his fellow crew mates, yet he doesn’t seem to be appreciated. While others around him are in a state of absolute horror at some of the discoveries they’ve made, David continues to ponder and explore with an almost child-like curiosity. Fassbender plays the role perfectly, and really shines in some of the film’s best moments.
My only criticism of the film is the ending. I’ll try not give too much away, but I felt one of the main characters made a very brash decision that I felt the studio wanted to insert for a potential sequel. While Prometheus is an excellent movie, I feel that sequels, more often than not, are crap-shoots that end very badly (critically at least). It certainly wasn’t a terrible ending, but I felt it was slightly rushed and screams, “sequel in 5 years, start spreading rumors”. All that said, the final 30 seconds will make fans of the original Alien jump and shout with joy.
All in all, Prometheus is one of the best science fiction movies I’ve seen in a long time. From its opening credits to its final frames, the film kept my eyes glued to the screen. The entire cast is fantastic throughout, with every actor or actress playing his or her character to near perfection. While the ending left a little something to be desired, the film is otherwise flawless. Welcome back to sci-fi Ridley Scott. You’ve once again proven why you’re one of the best film makers in this genre. As to whoever is reading this review, what are you waiting for? Get to the movies now.