Prometheus (2012)

Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 9:14 PM | Posted in


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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 7.3/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 8/10

PROMETHEUS (2012) - Ridley Scott

Where did we come from? Who created us? How did our civilization even start? These are some of the greatest wonders of humankind: The truth about our origin. This is what the crew of Prometheus came to accomplish, to "search for our beginning." But what they found "could be our end."

Ridley Scott, one of the pioneers of science fiction alongside Stanley Kubrick, has come back from historical films like Gladiator and Robin Hood to create a new dimension in the science fiction universe of the Alien franchise. Advertised as a prequel, Prometheus was promoted as the prequel of the first Alien film, explaining the origin of the xenomorph species as well as the identification of the "space jockey" and peculiar looking ship.

Prometheus is set in the year 2089, following archaeologist couple Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) as they discover a star map among several unconnected ancient civilizations. They interpret this as an invitation from what they believe to be humanity's forerunners, the "Engineers." Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the elderly CEO of Weyland Corporation, funds the creation of the scientific vessel Prometheus to follow the map to the distant moon LV-223. Monitoring the voyage throughout is the android David (Michael Fassbender), directing the mission is Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), and the captain of the ship is Janek (Idris Elba). What the crew finds on LV-223 is more than just the "Engineers," but a whole new hostile species as well.

Hotly anticipated ever since its promotion, Prometheus was severely pressured as being the film responsible for answering all the questions ever asked from the original Alien movie. For the demanding fans, you are not gonna get what you want. Instead of answering the questions, Prometheus provides even more questions, possibly confusing the audience. Logical sense-wise, the film works. It is just not proper to say that the movie is "complete," with no holes. This can easily disappoint the hardcore answer seekers. From the Boston Globe, the film is like "opening a deluxe gift box from Tiffany's to find a mug from the dollar store."

However, if one throws away the vibe of the Alien franchise and pays more attention on Ridley Scott's direction, Prometheus still bears its compelling power of magnetism, dragging the audience into the far reaches of space and intensify our hearts by plunging us into the darkest of black holes. In terms of a film's substance, Prometheus has an excellent cast, though inevitably inferior to the original Nostromo crew. Rapace is the new Ellen Ripley, lovable and gripping to follow, a powerful impression left by Sigourney Weaver years ago. Elba, being the loyal captain he is and at the same time bearing a sense of humor, reminds me a lot of Yaphet Kotto in the original 1979 classic. They look alike in appearance yet this new African American figure bears his own originality. Fassbender, according to critics, pulled off the most acclaimed performance in the entire film. Although his acting is consistent and fluent, his character is much too similar to Bishop in the 1986 sequel Aliens. Nevertheless, as a whole, the cast of Prometheus is also mature in age, an easy feat to achieve by talented Ridley Scott.

Like always, Ridley Scott paid much attention to art direction and set design in his science fiction films. The entire ship is designed like the most futuristic work station for a crew. For my personal taste in future technology, the style Scott approached in Blade Runner was much more appropriate. Despite the characters live in the future, there is a sense that the future equipment has already been used a lot, as if the technology already exists today. In my past review of Alien: "The characters [are shown] within the bowels of the ship, sweating and occupied with their chores. The environment holds a mix of science fiction gothic and a series of furnitures and devices that we see in our everyday lives." Even though the gadgets' mechanical designs are intriguing and eye-opening, they bear too large of a fictional sense, as if Ridley Scott here is demonstrating his inner fanboy to James Cameron's Avatar. All the gizmos and fancy contraptions serve little, nothing but intricate decorations on an already delicious cake.

Going back to the possible negativities of the film, Prometheus, as I stated before, does not have the answers that we all yearn for. Instead, it breaks the foreground and asks us questions back. I reiterate: The clamorous fans are going to be frustrated. Now this is for all the people who either want to see this movie or have already seen it: Think for a moment. Imagine you are in the year 1979, when Alien first came out. How many questions did you have? A great quantity. Imagine you are in the year 1968 when Stanley Kubrick first released 2001: A Space Odyssey. How many questions did you have? A great quantity. In fact, I will further say that if one does not do any film analysis, Space Odyssey will bore people with its cold lifeless atmosphere. In Ridley Scott's Alien, who sent the distress signal to the Nostromo? Where did the aliens come from? What was Weyland Corporation planning? Take Blade Runner. Is it wrong to enslave replicants? Can we truly trust our memories? Is Deckard, the protagonist, a replicant himself? Some of cinema's greatest science fiction contenders leave us, the audience, with a whole galaxy of questions. Are they made to have immediate answers? In this critic's opinion, absolutely not, and in fact, the unanswered questions are some of the core elements that drive these films forward. From Roger Ebert's words, "[Prometheus is] intriguing because it raises questions about the origin of human life and doesn't have the answers." We think about these questions more after viewing. We develop our own answers. We have our own interpretations of the film itself as well as our own world. Ambiguity at its most powerful.

In conclusion, Prometheus might eventually become another classic in the science fiction genre. Living up to its hype, the movie dazzles with brilliant cinematography, production design, and visual effects. It has a good spectrum of spectacles to behold alongside tense action and vigorous moments. It may leave the audience befuddled with uncertainty and lust for more, but this time, obscurity comes forth as a strength rather than weakness. Speaking of "lust for more," Prometheus might open up to a new pre-Alien franchise, and with this film as its beginning, I love where this possible new series is heading. With a new dimension of themes involving faith and humanity, Prometheus begins with insightful dedication and carries on as an adrenaline-rushed thriller in space, truly expressing again the prominent phrase: "In space, no one can hear you scream."


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