After a bit of indecision, we decided to save Â£25 and skip the IMAX version. Probably for the best – no pointless 3D and more money to spend on the Burger King we wolfed on the way to the cinema to see Ridley Scott‘s latest:
“My God, we were so wrong…”
Plot-in-a-nutshell: In the near future, we discover a message from the stars… and head off to see what lies on LV 426.
See it if you like: the first two Alien films
It’s been a while since the last Alien film. Thankfully, as Resurrection was dreadful. Also, Ridley Scott hasn’t had much to do with them since the original back in 1979. A long time to wait for the creator to revisit his work.
Thing is, was it worth the wait? In my personal opinion, yes. Not because it’s an “Alien film”, but precisely because it really isn’t. It just happens to take place in the same universe and, despite what anyone says, it is a prequel to that 1979 classic. However, it’s not told as an Alien film but more from the point of view of the human race. It sets up the first film wonderfully well (I couldn’t spot any inconsistencies), yet still leaves questions unanswered.
That’s been the beauty of the franchise to date. AlienÂ was a tense horror. AliensÂ was a balls-out action film. Alien 3Â straddled the line and, once the studio got their bloody hands off it and let Fincher re-edit it the way it should have been, ended up being more than watchable. Resurrection, as mentioned, is best left forgotten. Variety has been key in keeping it interesting.
PrometheusÂ continues this trend with a film that probably has more in common with the first instalment, but on a different scale and with quite a lot of expectation sitting on its shoulders. It bears this well.
Kicking off in the not too distant future, a group ofÂ archaeologistsÂ led by Doctors Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover a series of cave paintings, murals and the like which all contain a similar pattern. After some research, they realise they are effectively a map pointing to a planet that’s reachable using space travel of the day and argue that it’s a chance to meet whoever created the human race.
Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), or at least his globe-spanning company which plays a fairly major part in the earlier/later films, funds the expedition out there where the group discover… well, I don’t want to give away any more than the trailer.
The film has all the familiar aspects of a member of the franchise: an android (this one called David and played by Michael Fassbender), an untrustworthy “company (wo)man” (Meredith Vickers played by a rather sexy Charlize Theron), huge sets (Scott prefers to build in real life rather than digitally), great Chris Foss-like spacecraft, tension, a strong female lead, and so on.
The story moves quite slowly, in honesty, but when the action kicks in it’s with a shock factor. There’s definitely a horror element, both because of the tension followed by a jump, and in the gore stakes. While not as outright violent as the second movie, and not as edge-of-the-seat scary as the first it manages to have elements of both while focussing on a very good story that tries to give a sound basis for what was to follow.
Performances all round are excellent, though I’d pick out Fassbender in particular as what is effectively the first Weyland android. Quirky, cool and mysterious you wonder if the Alien universe has ever been party to Asimov’s Laws of Robotics.
Visually, it’s a treat from the gorgeous sets to the costumes and creature effects.
It seems to have been getting some mixed reactions which is to be expected. I, personally, think it’s a great slice of classic science fiction. It takes a core question – “where do we come from” – and drops a nice little dollop of “what if” in there. The technology may be a little too advanced for the era during which it’s meant to take place, but that’s the only real slip I could see… and one I’d love to have proven right as it would mean there’s a possibility of me just about seeing the beginnings of it in my lifetime!
I can understand why some people won’t have liked it. On the other hand, I’d recommend it highly because I enjoyed it and Gillian reckoned it was pretty good also.
- Prometheus | TotalFilm.com (netflowers.wordpress.com)
- Prometheus – Review (moviegeekblog.wordpress.com)
- Ridley Scott’s spectacularly slimy ‘Alien prequel’ Prometheus (theweek.co.uk)
- Review: Prometheus (pete975.wordpress.com)