FILMS have an ability to grip you and excite you on a visceral level. They take you to another world and provide escapism from the mundanity that enshrines our everyday lives.
From the very first moment that the rich textured palette of colours is deployed Ridley Scott’s Prometheus does just that. Scott is a director who has the eye for visual detail.
The greatest sequence of this film are the opening credits which sees a Humanoid disintegrates against a breath taking backdrop of a waterfall and eerie alien rock like formations. Scott takes the rule of thirds and inverses it. It is this sort of detail that provides a pleasing on the eye composition.
As for the actual story, there is a lot of promise early on. The first half is riveting as all the characters slowly start to unravel and their purpose and motives becoming clear. A bit like the predecessor Aliens, there is a similar dynamic with Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw providing the Ripley of the ship.
The basic plot premise is a group of scientists go to search for the beginning of the human race. Instead what they uncover could prove to be the demise of humankind.
Rapace’s character isn’t a Sigourney Weaver rip-off though. The writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof do a good job of avoiding the trap of turning the Shaw character into a gun toting kick ass wonder woman.
The star of the show though is Michael Fassbender who plays the android David. It’s easy to see why he’s in such high demand at the moment. It’s as if Fassbender has spent every waking hour observing David Bowie’s mannerism, maybe the opening sequence are a homage to his work off screen.
Fassbender also seems to have taken a lot inspiration from one of Scott’s other great films Blade Runner, if there is to be a sequel to that film then surely Fassbender must be taken into consideration.
Logan Marshall-Green however disappoints in his role as Charlie Holloway. It seems his only purpose was to impregnate Shaw with the Alien after being infected with its DNA. He is neither likeable enough to sit next to the hero of this film – Shaw, and nor does he have the edginess to play the anti-hero.
Prometheus is meant to act as a prequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien but at the same time work as a stand-alone film. Fans of the original film will appreciate the nods to the original film such as the harrowing scene in which Shaw cuts out an Alien offspring from inside her.
Then there is of course the appearance of the old egg headed Alien itself at the conclusion of this film. Scott set out to make this more a reboot of the Alien franchise and hopefully it means an end from the woeful Alien V Predator type cash in’s.
This is Scott’s baby and he’s stamped his authority over it again even planting the seeds for a potential sequel.
Prometheus is good to very good, but falls short of being great as it’s let down in the latter half when it becomes a bit crash bang wallop. It’s like the fusing of Alien and Aliens. And the film leaves you with just as many questions as it provides.
But the visually stunning vistas coupled with motifs of humanity’s penchant for destruction and the possibility of a sequel helmed by Scott with Rapace at the controls of the spaceship, Prometheus must be classed a success.