- Director:Ridley Scott
- Cast:Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson
- Release Date:June 07, 2012
- Distributor:20th Century Fox
- Running time:124 minutes
- Film Worth:$17.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
After delivering a brilliant first half, its ambition seems to exceed its execution, but despite becoming muddled, it remains a visually stunning and wild cinematic ride.
The weight of expectations hang heavily on Prometheus. Director, Ridley Scott is returning to sci-fi for the first time since Blade Runner (1982) and to the universe he created in the iconic Alien (1979). So is it worth seeing? The short answer is - yes. In fact, if you have even a casual interest in spectacular space opera, you should probably stop reading this review and go see a session as soon as possible. On the big screen, with the best use of 3D to date, Prometheus is a sumptuous visual feast.
That's the good news and it is very good news. In the film's first half, there are truly awe-inspiring sequences of planetary exploration. The story has a scientific team aboard the spaceship, Prometheus, investigating star coordinates found incongruously in cave paintings of various primitive human cultures. The find, they believe, may lead humanity to quite literally meet their makers - the beings who created us - to ask the big questions: why are we here, what does it all mean and what happens when we die?
This is the setup for a glorious, epic, cerebral, sci-fi adventure. And for some forty-odd minutes that is exactly what we get. Then things get messy and Prometheus becomes a B-movie with an enormous budget. The big questions are either abandoned or sidelined as characters do increasingly illogical things and the slow building menace is abandoned in favour of a series of horror-from-space tropes. None of these sequences are bad per se, in fact a couple of them (a futuristic C-section and a sequence with what look like space cobra) are skin-crawlingly effective and chilling. The problem is it all gets a bit random and trashy. Characters we've barely met do heroic things with little or no justification. The slimy monsters look very cool but we're never entirely sure why or how the things are happening - and the ending is, frankly, a bit of a punch in the face.
All those qualifiers listed, Prometheus is still fun. Michael Fassbender is totally compelling as synthetic life form, David. The early scenes with him are brilliant and (ironically) the most human of the piece. Noomi Rapace is solid in a part that seems to change from scene to scene. She tries her best but the script's inconsistencies make her a rather confusing character to follow. Charlize Theron and Idris Alba are solid but wasted as the bitchy ice queen and pragmatic captain of the ship, respectively.
Visually, this is Ridley Scott's best film in years. The man should seriously stay in sci-fi for the rest of his career. He has a real knack for filming that which does not yet exist, giving it weight and gravitas. Sadly all his good work is marred by a script that is, at best, inconsistent. Alien fans will want to know if this is a prequel or not - and the answer is yes, but indirectly. This is not the planet from Alien and Aliens and the "space jockeys" in Prometheus are separate entities. In fact, Prometheus should be enjoyed on its own terms. Something that is a little hard to do with the movie's moronic, fan-placating coda and open-ended finale that is clearly left that way for a sequel.
So, enjoying Prometheus is about expectation management. It's an entertaining movie with truly outstanding moments and more than a few eye-rollingly stupid ones. It's not the second coming of science fiction but, despite being maddeningly muddled, it's a wild ride that's not quite as satisfying as it should be but is worth taking nonetheless.