Movie review — Prometheus
Ever since I heard Ridley Scott was making a prequel to Alien, I knew this movie would be number one on my list, whenever it came out.
Then, he changed directions. He said, “it’s not a prequel. Not officially.” While disappointed, I trusted him to still make a great movie. I’d be lying if I said I went into Prometheus without any expectations. I had high expectations. I expected Ridley to deliver. And he (almost) did.
When I exited the theater my first thought was, “the Alien overtones were simply too hard to ignore.” But I digress.
So, what’s the jist? Here it is as fast as I can tell it…
Scientists find cave drawings all over Earth that aren’t just drawings—they’re a star chart, asking humans to come and visit. Therefore, the Weyland corporation (recognize that name?) sinks a trillion dollars into a spaceship and it heads to the system shown in the star chart. Upon arrival, some exploration is done and the humans find some sort of alien outpost. Things seem to be swinging the way of a heady sci-fi discovery movie until it becomes apparent that the aliens aren’t just chilling on this world… they’re here to keep a certain project of theirs away from their own world because it’s so deadly, a lesson the humans on board the Prometheus learn the hard way.
What the movie does NOT skimp on is sci-fi. The ship Prometheus is a sight to behold, the world they land on is very earth-like but has enough of its own personality to feel like it’s a bajillion miles away. Ridley’s use of the color yellow when it comes to lights on the ship, other vehicles and space suits, is a nice change from the aqua-blue trend that’s been pervasive in Hollywood these many years. There’s plenty of 3D holographic readouts on board the ship, “pups” that float through the corridors of the alien world, throwing lasers all over the walls and mapping their course in realtime, and futuristic equipment and processes to keep sci-fi nerds immersed.
While I felt like the movie got off to a bit of a slow start, once it corrected itself, it did so with plenty of momentum. When the pace of the movie quickens (and trust me, you’ll know when it happens,) the action and revelations don’t stop until the very, very end of the movie. Trust me—ten minutes before the movie ends, you think you know what’s going on. You don’t.
In true Ridley Scott fashion, you leave the movie with more questions than answers. I like this. The movie didn’t pander to a simple audience that needs everything spelled out for them. It felt like Ridley was dealing with bigger issues so he forewent with spelling everything out. He had a bigger message to get across.
It wasn’t until the movie was over did I realize there’s a parallel between Prometheus and the story of Noah from the Bible. The creator (or, in this case, the creators) decided what they’d made wasn’t satisfactory, so they’re going to wipe the slate clean. Except, there’s no Ark this time. Clean slate means just that… everyone’s going away.
If you’re concerned about gore, take heed. There’s a couple scenes that actually caused Wendy to cover her face in surprise. One of the scenes happens so fast (again, true Ridley style) you’re not sure you saw what you think you saw. Let me assure you—what you think you saw, you saw.
I’d also like to suggest viewing the movie in 3D. I didn’t see it in 2D, and I’m sure it’s just fine that way, but Ridley shot this movie in 3D and you can tell. It’s used at just the right times to make just the right impact.
So, did I feel satisfied walking out of the theater? I think so. It felt like the movie should have shifted gears just a little sooner but all in all it’s a solid addition to the Ridley Scott quiver. If you like movies that let you figure things out on your own, have plenty of tension and surprise, a little bit of horror and a lot of sci-fi, then you’ll likely be quite happy with Prometheus.
Have you seen it yet? If so, let me know what you thought of it in the comments!