AKA: Prometheus: An IMAX 3D Experience (2012) -
3D IMAX version
AKA: Paradise (2012) - Working Title
AKA: Untitled Alien Prequel (2012) - Working Title
AKA: Promitheas (2012) - Greek Title
AKA: Prometheus - Dunkle Zeichen (2012) -
AKA: Prometej (2012) - Croatian Title
AKA: Prometeo (2012) - Spanish Title
(Premičre Date: May 30, 2012 -
Belgium, France, Switzerland)
(USA Release Date: June 08, 2012)
Hence the announcement of Prometheus being the stuff that cinematic Dreams are made of. Prometheus was directed by Alien director Ridley Scott and produced by Scott, his filmmaking brother Tony Scott and original Alien producers David Giler and Walter Hill. Even better, the screenplay by (relative) newcomer Jon Spaihts and Lost's Damon Lindelof (with quite a lot of input and veto power from Ridley Scott) is far from just another formulaic Alien homage as some of the sequels (and prequels) proved to be, but an original story set in the same universe that deepens the mysterious history behind Alien's mythology without attempting to redo (or outdo) the original).
One of the truly great things about Prometheus is that it does all that it promises to do. It both demystifies and deepens the mysteries of Alien and contains linked themes, but doesn't ape the same plot and theme of Alien. It validly continues the mythos that began in 1979 but stands as its own movie, not an appendix to the franchise on the whole. It brings certain (mostly unexplored) concepts from Ronald Shusett and Dan O'Bannon's original Alien script, but doesn't lock itself into tying every shadow big or small to a canonical explanation! In short, while it may not be perfect or the exact film we expected to see Prometheus is a very fine film from both a sci-fi/ horror perspective and unbound by genre. Prometheus is both a valid prequel to Alien and all of the films that followed it and its own, exciting film in its own right!
The story kicks off in the distant past with the vaguest hints of Ancient Astronauts who may have left signals to where they may have originated from. Enter scientist couple Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) and Elizabeth "Ellie" Shaw (Noomi Rapace - presumably without her Dragon Tattoo) who bring some irresistible information about humanity's history and future to The Weyland Corporation (yes, yes, the same precursor to Weyland-Yutani) we've grown to know so damned well (and fear so damned much).
Soon the sleep capsules are filled with scientists and adventurers and the USSCS Prometheus is off to explore the distant moon of LV-223 which is... hey, wait a minute! For those of you not keeping score, we seem to be a few numbers off of the planet we're expecting. That's right, folks... while Prometheus does answer a lot of questions, it also gives us one more huge one when the planet's designation flashes across the screen. For those of us expecting planet LV-426, we now know there is a whole new world of wonder to explore (and mystery to unravel).
Guiding the mission that Holloway and Shaw kicked off are the opposing forces of Captain Janek (Idris Elba), skipper of the Prometheus and Miss Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), a true "COMPANY Woman". And somewhere in the middle is our resident Android (an earlier class of the milk-filled robots Ash and Bishop) named David 8 (brilliantly played by Michael Fassbender).
Also along for the scientific find of all time (or to become Purina Alien Chow, I won't say which) are Ford (Kate Dickie), Ravel (Benedict Wong), Chance (Emun Elliott), Milburn (Rafe Spall) and Fifield (Sean Harris)! Add in a couple of flashback cameos from Patrick Wilson (as the elder Dr. Shaw) and Guy Pearce (as the VERY elder Peter Weyland) and you've got one hell of a cast working with this godsend of a crew.
The big enticement of finding out the origin of the Xenomorph and the Space Jockey is, of course, the main promise of this film (and there is, quite simply, no one better to bring this to us than Ridley Scott) but the way these things come to life are remarkably surprising and exciting. There is quite a lot of the same darkness and an even deeper degree of disturbing and stomach churning "body horror" in this film and the mood and the way Scott handles these things can be remarkably unsettling. This is, in no small part, due to the brilliant artistic contributions of H.R. Giger, the original Alien's designer who returned 33 years later for Prometheus to design more never-before seen horrors to feast our eyes upon! In short, this is not a film for those who had trouble with the gross and viscerally suspenseful and horrific moments form Alien. You might have to excuse yourself to the bathroom and stay there for half of the film.
However, for most people, especially fans, this can be quite a treat for the eyes (even if the cold, wet disturbance is all the more palpable for we who have sat through the film a few hundred times since we were six years old). Without giving away too much of the plot, I can tell you that there are a great many things that fit perfectly and make beautiful sense when matched with the other films in the series. The striving to connect the films is exceeded only by the desire to make a really good movie that isn't just "Alien 0" (far from it). That said, there are pieces of the film that click so well with the rest of the series, true fans might either jump for joy or shout "I didn't need to know that!" (or, perhaps, both). Hell, depending on your point of view, Prometheus might either actually follow up the two Alien Vs. Predator films or completely negate them. While Scott and company have indicated that they intend no connection with those two also-ran prequels, there is both enough evidence and enough ambiguity to go either way.
As any of the prequels or sequels can evidence, Alien is a hard act to follow. Prometheus stands as one of the best films in the series as one would expect from a Ridley Scott follow-up to one of his best classics. However, Prometheus doesn't quite match Alien. The story is exciting, interesting and consistent but once in a while it gets somewhat predictable here and there. Those who are expecting a prequel like 2011's The Thing won't find it here (which, for most, would be a good thing. This prequel does not lead directly into the Nostromo's launch or Ripley's birth and it doesn't end right on an "oh, I get it" moment. All of this is good when understanding Prometheus's place in the universe.
On the confusing side, however, this prequel, set quite a while before the events of the 1979 film has a decidedly more technological feel to it, as if 20th Century Fox wanted a great deal of their 130 million dollar budget to go toward creating a believable Alien Prequel for the iPad generation. Sure any internet blogger or fan fiction writer can explain this away easily. Prometheus is a science vessel with Weyland higher ups directly involved in the mission while the Nostromo was a mining ship with space truckers on it. Yeah, I get it and I respect that. There's still a decidedly post-future feel here that still feels practical, but, when compared to Alien doesn't feel as "real". The "used future" of Star Wars and Alien with its dusty corridors, damp rooms, torn seat cushions and scratched consoles have given way to a stark, clean and sterile environment on the ship... as if every part of Prometheus matches the Nostromo's infirmary. The Nostromo looked like a very old ship that had been bashing about the planets for donkeys years, while the Prometheus looks like the a sweet, clean, ultra-modern park avenue apartment when filtered through your high-definition LED TV! Sure it works and depending on your point of view it might actually enhance both the magic and the horror here... but it still leaves a few questions.
Then again, Prometheus is all about questions. Answers, sure... but questions and mystery and the hints of an even larger saga. Taken for all with all, it's worth at least Four Stars out of Five and definitely worth seeing again and again and again! One final note... while one tends to miss Goldsmith's original score (which became such an integral part of Alien, listen for Marc Streitenfeld's music which does a very fine job of establishing the mood of the piece... even and especially when that piece happens to be something frightening and slimy flying across the room and making a horrible mess of things. But then again... that's nothing new from the Alien saga.
Nothing new... but still as shocking as ever... forever. It's worth seeing again and again... at least until the prequel to Blade Runner (already announced with Ridley Scott at the helm) hits theatres. I can hardly wait! See you in the next reel, true believers!
The Beginning of Civilization
The Way of the Universe...
Can all be discerned by clicking HERE for more reviews.
Okay, not really... but it couldn't hurt either!
reviewed by J.C. Maçek III
Who is solely responsible for the content of this site
And for the fact that
In real LIFE...
He's totally a Space Jockey!
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