Rarely does a film leave me speechless when typing up a review, but as I sit here attempting to describe what I’ve just seen, words fail me. To say it was merely good does not do the film justice.
So I will begin by stating this: Prometheus is the Alien prequel we have been chomping at the teeth for. It not only lives up to the Alien films, but perhaps even surpasses them. Those of you who are fans of the Alien franchise, you simply must see this. It does not disappoint.
So what is Prometheus about? In the near future, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) has discovered a 30,000+ year old cave painting on Earth in Scotland. What makes this painting so special is that it depicts the exact same thing that other similar paintings from across the world and from different points in human history displays. The ancient art pieces all feature a sort of map that leads to what may be the beings responsible for creating humans on Earth, appropriately called “The Engineers” by Dr. Shaw. So Dr. Shaw goes into space with a team led by Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), a harsh and mysterious woman who has what she believes to be her own agenda. Add in David (Michael Fassbender), a creepily cheerful Android with an agenda of his own, and a ragtag ship crew led by Captain Janek (Idris Elba), and you have the beginnings of a science fiction epic.
And epic is the word I would use to describe this film. The scale of the production boggles the mind. The scenes on Earth, in space and on the alien planet are truly larger than life, thanks to the talent and mind of director Ridley Scott. I can imagine that his motto during filming must have been “Go big or go home.” This is a monster of a movie that will grab you by the pants and attempt to hurl you into space where no one can hear you scream. And trust me, scream, you will.
Of course, a movie of this scale had some great writing talent, too. Virtual unknown Jon Spaihts paired with Lost veteran Damon Lindelof to create a story that never stops being huge and exciting. In a particular scene when Shaw needs surgery, the audience I watched the film with was squealing in disgust and shifting uncomfortably in their seats. Yes, Prometheus is that intense.
Cast-wise, the acting could not have been better. Rapace steals the show, even from Theron, as the character who takes the most abuse. She sells her pain and horror and has a way of sharing those emotions with movie-goers. This young woman is sure to win an Oscar someday soon. I also loved Elba’s turn as the captain – his laid back character that understands the levity of the crew’s situation was spot on. And obviously , Fassbender is brilliant, as always. His portrayal of the android is a combination of child-like, eerie and very inhuman.
The special effects are breathtaking, particularly in the opening scene. And the spaceship Prometheus itself? It’s stunning. To quote my friend, “That’s the Lamborghini of spaceships.” I am inclined to agree. The aliens seem real, enough so that I slept with a light on last night.
But for me, it was the final scene in Prometheus that blew me away. Not only does it feature something familiar, but it sets us up for a sequel. And please, dear Hollywood, let there be one.
Go now. Run to the theater. This is one to appreciate on the big screen.
Now for you classic Doctor Who fans: Prometheus just might remind you of an episode titled “The Daemons.” Coincidence ? I think not.
I did not mention much of the symbolism in the film, because, honestly, a lot of it went past me (so much is going on that Prometheus obviously requires a second and third viewing), but fortunately, this guy dives deep into those murky depths (do not read if you have not yet seen it, though).