Director: Ridley Scott
Starring : Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba
Running Time : 124 minutes
Release Date : June 7, 2012
‘The search for our beginning could lead to our end’
At a time that pre-dates history, an alien craft hovers menacingly in the air as a pale humanoid creature deposits his DNA into the churning waters of Earth. Many, many years later, two archaeologists, Shaw (Rapace) & Holloway (Marshall-Green) find a 35 000 year old cave painting depicting what appears to be giant humans pointing to or worshipping a constellation far, far away. Convinced the painting is an invitation, a few years later and our scientists are part of a deep space voyage aboard the Prometheus, currently en route to the constellation depicted in the paintings.
The slumbering crew are tended to by the android David (the stunningly talented Fassbender) who spends at least some of his time modelling himself on Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence of Arabia. Once they near their target, they awaken and are briefed on their mission by the ice cold Meredith Vickers (Theron), who is not a scientist or specialist but is there to oversee the trillion dollar Weyland Corporation mission.
The crew, very small considering the size of not only the Prometheus but the mission they have embarked upon, are a combination of scientists and technical support. They land on their destination planet/moon and venture forth to investigate a mysterious rocky dome which may or may not be natural.
This new planet is dark, dismal, grey and dead. The initial investigation of the rocky dome reveals that is not a natural structure. Once inside, 4 small tennis ball sized laser droids are despatched to map the structure & to determine if any life forms are present. This real time mapping is shown as a constantly moving 3D geographical map at the centre of the Prometheus control room. It maps the structure and tracks the scientists as well as any alien life forms. It’s fascinating and a constant link to the outside.
Naturally, our scientists find alien life forms. There is the usual, as we would expect in a Sci Fi movie, and the unexpected. They stumble upon a huge cave full of rows and rows and rows of what seems like canisters of….something. It appears the scientists trigger some sort of reaction and the canisters begin to ooze black goo and come to life within. That’s what I saw anyway.
The team, both on the ground and back on the ship, experience all sorts of things. Some are real, others are imagined. There is lots of alien stuff…..dark caves, strange writings on walls, unidentified life forms, creepy pictures and carvings, things that go bump in the night, odd weather, skeletons, holograms…..the list goes on.
There is the battle of wills between the company rep and the scientists. Is there a hidden agenda at play? When corporate funds are involved, scientists immediately lose ground (take note NASA!!) as there is always, always a bottom line, hidden agenda or some other ulterior motive to contend with. The Prometheus crew will always be at the will of the Weyland Corporation and nothing good can come from this either scientifically or personally.
Is this an Alien prequel? I’m saying no. It is, as Ridley Scott promised, within the Alien universe but a prequel….no. If it is, we have quite a few more films to go between this and the first Alien movie. There are many similar and familiar elements, of course. The droid David is perhaps the most obvious connection, perhaps a prototype. There are lots of other connections, some obvious some subtle but there is great deal of originality too.
I liked this movie. It is old fashioned storytelling with fantastic special effects to enhance the story. Sure the plot has some holes and paper thin connections at some points. And sure some of the characters are underused. And sure the decision to send a trillion dollar expedition into deep space on the seemingly gut instincts of a scientist are bordering on laughable but still, none of this affected my enjoyment of the movie. Yeah, when I look at what I just wrote, it really should have. But it didn’t.
The special effects are spectacular and creepy. Oozing black goo, snake like creatures that start to open and you’re like rut roh……no good can come from a snake like creature gradually unfurling as a scientist tries to soothe it as you would a baby. No good at all! And no good does come of it. It’s brilliant. I love the Alien aliens, new and old. They are horrible and tap into something primitive and scary within me. Excellent stuff!
Oh I know the knives are out for Scott with this one. Is it or is it not a prequel. Has he slipped with the scary stuff. Is he letting the Alien franchise down. This movie asks more questions than it answers. Okay…..stop right there.
I have seen reviewers and many others cry foul with this movie simply because it doesn’t answer all their questions. Since when was it a movie making prerequisite that all things be uncovered, dealt with, then neatly boxed up again within 2 hours? Unless of course there is an obvious play for a sequel. That, it seems, is acceptable. But still, all questions must be satisfactorily answered within the movie or else it fails? Absolutely ridiculous.
If you want your story done and dusted within a certain time frame, try a Scooby Doo mystery.