As a massive fan of Ridley Scott’s epic 1979 sci-fi horror, Alien, I went into Prometheus with huge expectations for what I was about to see and high hopes that this would be a welcomed return to the genre for the filmmaker, who abandoned it after his 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner. You see, Prometheus is a prequel to Alien that’s not really a prequel. It moves and feels like Alien, but the initial storyline is a completely standalone feature with only a few elements of Alien scattered about.
On a mission to find the key to the human race, a team of scientists venture to a distant planet with similar qualities to Earth. Once there, they discover a race not much different than ours and go looking for a live specimen. Unfortunately, something has wiped them all out and there is not a single being alive. As they investigate further they realize there is something else lurking around the planet and soon they’re fighting for their lives against the unknown creatures that are attacking them.
Scott’s direction is a true return to form for the auteur, especially after the dreadful Robin Hood retelling he last made. Every aspect of Prometheus has a touch of perfection to it. He’s not scared to let the camera do the talking and there are long moments where there’s only one character on screen and no dialogue or action at all. It sets a tone and gives off a feeling of dread similar to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. But when he does deliver a scene with action, the intensity of it jumps tenfold and it becomes truly frightening.
As far as the cast is concerned you couldn’t have found a better mix of actors. Michael Fassbender is truly outstanding as the robot David, and Noomi Rapace is exceptional in the lead and has truly landed in Hollywood. And while Charlize Theron is not as great as she was in Snow White and the Huntsman, she too delivers a solid performance. Same goes for The Wire’s Idris Elba, who plays the ship’s captain.
Prometheus delivered on everything I wanted to get out of it and it left me truly stunned. But, to be honest, this is a movie that will need many more viewings before one can grasp the full nature of it and feel the full affect of it.
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Top image: A scene from The Devil’s Double. Courtesy eOne Films.