October 6, 2013


Ridley Scott, 2012

A group of scientific explorers descend on a planet that they believe may be the key to understanding the birth of our existence. As they land on the volatile surface of the planet, they realize that finding those answers is not going to come very easy, if at all. 

Ridley Scott spent more than 10 years developing this Sci-Fi thriller, a loose prequel to the Alien films. The lengthy production time certainly shows. The final product is a visually stunning, suspenseful picture that feels very much like Scott's past films. Intricate set design rivals all of his past work. The film shows off technology that would make Tim Cook jealous. Holograms, stasis pods, dream readers, mapping sensors. They say film can predict future technology, and this would certainly be a great example of it. The array of high-tech gadgets make it feel like Minority Report blended with the original Alien. It's certainly a film built for the big-screen. Some may accuse the film of biting off more than it could chew. Probably because it attempts to tackle those age-old philosophical questions. Where do we come from? Why are we here? Rather than have a crew land on a planet to be eaten alive by whatever native creatures exist, it's good that there's some complexity to the mission - despite how grandiose it is.

The tension builds as the Prometheus lands on the foreign ship, with the crew looking for The Engineers. The pace effectively picks up, and the applied tension through the rest of the film is very well-placed. While the dialogue isn't exactly mind-blowing, the acting is impressive. Michael Fassbender is perfectly cast as the android David. Charlize Theron is effective as cold-mannered ship captain Meredith Vickers. Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth in the original Dragon Tattoo films) is also particularly impressive as Dr. Shaw. When the first unfriendly creature appears, a wave of familiarity washes over you. It feels very Alien-like, you welcome it with open arms. Once that door opens, it does not close. While the film may have it's flaws, one of them is not a lack of ambition. Scott is likely the only living filmmaker who could make a picture with so much detail. He is willing to put in the time to make sure his distinct style is all over the place. Almost like a James Cameron from space, Scott has a history of putting together a beautiful ship, only to deconstruct it piece by piece with damage and still maintain the aesthetics.

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