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PROMETHEUS – Movie Review

I had heard incredibly mixed buzz walking into Ridley Scott’s Prometheus.  Some loved it, while others were severely disappointed.  The big draw of the film, regardless, is the fact that it presumably takes place in the same universe as Scott’s 1979 sci-fi classic Alien.  The debate, though, was whether or not Prometheus was a direct or indirect prequel to it.  Having now seen the film, it’s safe to say it’s definitely not a direct prequel, but it’s a great, intelligent modern sci-fi film.

Prometheus follows a group of scientists, who have discovered a life form that supposedly dates back and connects to human origins.  They travel to a distant planet to investigate it, however while there, not everything goes according to plan.

The visual scope and effects are worth paying full price for alone.  The opening shots of the film establish the planet and are jaw dropping to watch unfold.  They blend CGI and practical effects seamlessly and are some of the best-looking visuals I’ve ever seen put to film.

The acting across the board is relatively solid, with some great standout performances.  Noomi Rapace is reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley in Alien, with a bit more vulnerability to her character.  Regardless, she carries the film with the same strong presence as weaver and plays the role convincingly.  Idris Elba also serves as much of the film’s comic relief, and he turns in a likeable, charismatic performance as the ship’s captain.

However, the scene-stealer is far and away Michael Fassbender as the android David.  He completely inhabits the layered character, which will get people talking after the film.

There are also great scenes of flat-out horror.  Blood and guts fill the screen, and Scott creates an unsettling, effective atmosphere to accompany them.

The common complaint I hear is that the film sets up philosophical questions at the beginning, but doesn’t answer them by the end.  I completely disagree with this complaint, because while it doesn’t directly answer those questions, it isn’t really focused on doing so.  It’s a survival movie by the end, and it would be irrelevant to hear every single answer explained.  Where I do fault the film is that it gets a bit bogged down by sci-fi lore, where Alien really succeeded in its simple storytelling.

I also felt the film dragged a bit, and while it was never boring, a good 15 minutes could have been trimmed, which would have made it even more effective.

Overall, while it could have been better, Prometheus is a fun summer movie with a brain behind it, and one definitely worth seeing on the big screen.


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