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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Review: Prometheus (15) ★★★★
A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

So, as I pulled on my Nostromo t-shirt, and headed out of the door to see the midnight showing of Prometheus, I stopped and reminded myself “this is not an ‘Alien’ movie”.
The trouble, it seemed, was that I just didn’t want to listen to myself, so as I sat in the cinema and slowly placed my 3D glasses on as the film began, it suddenly dawned on me, ok this really isn’t Alien(s) is it.

Within the first five minutes of the film you know this is something different to what you’ve seen in the franchise before. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good ‘different’, but it’s also a shock. So here comes the trouble with this review, I can’t explain too much for fear of spoiling the whole thing, so I’ll try my best to let you know as much as I can.

Ridley Scott initially set out to make a straight forward Alien prequel but then decided to make something just a little more different. Rather brave but also very sensible. I can let you know that Prometheus isn’t a patch on Alien, or indeed Aliens, but then it was never going to be was it? No matter what direction Scott took he’d always have the baggage of his incredible original to live up to, so why not make an indirect prequel placed in the same universe of his classic? Sounds like an intelligent move in my opinion.

So we begin by witnessing, what most are calling, ‘the beginning of time’ opening. Take from this what you will. Once done we meet core heroine, our Ripley if you’ll allow me, Dr Elizabeth Shaw and her archaeological partner/lover. They discover a series of cave paintings that seem to point towards the birth of mankind on some distant solar system.

And so we dive straight to the spaceship Prometheus and its motley crew heading to the star system outlined in the crude cave drawings discovered earlier. Comprising of a gruff captain and his crew, a sinister ‘company’ exec (still not a patch on Burke, Carter J by the way), the resident android (David), our heroes and a rag tag assemble of scientific folk.

It all moves along at quite a pace, and before you know it they’ve landed on (and this is the only real spoiler you’ll find in this review) LV-223 (yes you read that right fellow geeks), suited up and heading straight into the cave system the drawings on earth alluded to. From here on in its massive spoiler territory so I’m not going to go into too much, but needless to say, this is where it echoes back to the original Alien and we learn a lot about our old friend the Space Jockey, and importantly his friends, David’s motives and much, much more.

If this seems too much of a teaser or cop out, then I’m sorry but to expand on anything else would spoil the experience, it really would. I avoided the 5 minute clips that were released (which for my money are a complete waste of time anyway), the reviews and behind the scenes stuff that flooded the internet. I only watched the trailers, and like them, I’m not giving anything away.

So, I hear you ask, what about the performances? The direction? – well, the direction is as accomplished as you’d expect from someone as knowledgeable as Ridley Scott, its fluid, moves along at a great pace and visually stunning. The performances – to be honest, there’s only three that stand out, and they’re the ones that only really need to. Noomi Rapace is great as Shaw the main protagonist, Charlize Theron is sinister and dislikeable as Meredith Vickers but the stand out is Michael Fassbender as the android, David. Channelling David Bowie and Peter O’Toole, Fassbender is astonishingly sincere yet completely untrustworthy. If he’s not spying on the crews dreams when they are asleep, he’s making them killer vodka cocktails. He has a plan but you’ll struggle to guess what that could actually be, even when it becomes relatively clear.

The only problem I had with the film, again after much deliberating, was the ending. It seemed very ‘tacked on’ for me and was completely out of place to what had gone before it. I had a huge problem with it as soon as the film finished, but as I’ve now had time to consider everything I can accept it. I may not like it, but it’s not as bad as it could have been I suppose *coughs* Alien Resurrection *coughs*

So in conclusion I though Prometheus was a really good return to Sci-Fi for Ridley Scott and I also think that distancing itself from Alien was a brilliant move. Prometheus is a film that you really need to think about, when it ends you need to stop, think and make sure you don’t make an instance reaction, for to do this would be foolish.


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