A film clouded in secrecy, acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, White Squall) returns and nothing has changed, still no one can hear you scream in space during this sort-of prequel to his 1979 classic ‘Alien’.
Ambitious and staggering set design, full of jaw dropping grand sequences beginning with a breathtaking opening scene so amazing I couldn’t blink. Peaking so early, the rest of the film grinds down into a character study of sorts, this may disgruntle hardcore ‘Alien’ fans hoping for an attack of the familiar chest-bursting acid blooded beasts. In contrast there are plenty of grotesque body melting moments with the building of suspense and intergalactic anarchy never far away.
Set in 2093, the Prometheus is a large star-ship which arrives on a distant moon after a rather routine two-year journey. The motley crew are an indifferent bunch, all in suspended cyber sleep except for a synthetic. Cyborg David, has passed the time by watching classic films and studying rare languages but still shows contempt for his human colleagues. A mission funded by an unusual wealthy tycoon is headed by determined archaeologists Liz and Charlie who believe alien life-forms may have visited earth leaving messages of friendship or gentle communication.
Things get nasty quickly the further the crew search for clues and it is then, deadly scary entities begin to make their presence known.
Novice ‘Alien’ aficionados may rejoice in a opulent scene concerning the mystery of those unhatched alien eggs inside that weird U-shaped spacecraft with it’s mummified pilot identified from that first film. However, not much else in the film is associated to the series. Australian Guy Pearce is almost unrecognisable in an effective role I will not talk about here, while Charlize Theron plays a first class manipulator of a corporate company, who you just love to hate. Original girl with the dragon tattoo, Swedish star Noomi Rapace is under pressure in the Sigourney Weaver style Ripley heroine role testing her limits of survival with definitive bloodletting. Confident as she may be, it is Michael Fassbender as the android David who like his predecessor Lance Henrickson, makes an unforgettable slight of hand in an understated performance nuanced with good guy, bad guy attributes.
Not the movie many hoped for as it’s the first science fiction opus from director Ridley Scott since ‘Blade Runner’, but not exactly a complete disappointment either.
Many questions are unfortunately unanswered provoking discussions sure to be aroused during the end credits.
PROMETHEUS hits theaters Friday, June 8.