Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

This was the one my friends.  In a summer that is loaded up with stuff and has Avengers and returning Dark Knights and Spiderman reboots… Ridley Scott returning to Science Fiction with ‘Prometheus’ after an unconscionable thirty year absence is the movie we’ve been waiting for.  And even though I watch a lot of movies and talk a lot about movies I’m really not one to get all that excited about upcoming movies.  This one generated some expectations.  This one generated expectations for a lot of people because if Ridley Scott is going back to the ‘Alien’ universe, simply by default an awful lot of these expectations will not be met.  Personally, I was pleased with what I got.  It wasn’t a perfect movie, oh good Heavens no… but it provided just enough deep thought and intrigue, combined with some open endedness which forces the audience to draw their own conclusions, combined with some crazy Big Action Movie stupidity which tried to derail all of that other stuff… but all in all I was pleased with ‘Prometheus’.

Back in the day, like Day One, there were these humanoid creatures that apparently created life on Earth.  Not the Earth itself, since it was apparently already here, which I guess we can still attribute this to God, which is just another question you can debate with your Internet friends.  Anyway, they created life and life was good.

Fast forward a few thousand millennia to a cave where Doctors Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and her boyfriend Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) have made an amazing discovery involving some cave drawings.  Without getting too much into it, just know that the Weyland Corporation has funded an interstellar journey, based on the research of these two academics, to an unknown planet to find out where we came from.

Two years in stasis later, the crew of the Prometheus, lorded over by the super stern Weyland Exec Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), lands on this ringed planet way away from our planet to get some answers.  Damn if they don’t find them.  Seriously bro, this is the most important find in the history of everything.  Every single thing we thought we knew about ourselves is now turned upside down, reversed and discombobulated.  This is some heady stuff.

But this is the Weyland corporation so everything isn’t always what it seems.  Peter Weyland  (Guy Pearce) has been dead a few years now but he did survive long enough to fund this trip for whatever reason, and he has placed his trusted confidant David the Android (Michael Fassbender) on board the ship to handle a few things for him post mortem.  I think we all know that androids and the Alien Universe haven’t always been two great tastes that taste great together, so keep an eye on this guy.  Plus as we get deeper into the fortress of the beings we think created us, things are getting a little strange.  Like the fact they are all dead.  And not peacefully dead, but murdered up dead.  That concerns me greatly.  Them… not as much.  I’m thinking that Captain Janek (Idris Elba) should fly us out of here, but no… there’s stuff to investigate, common sense to violate, secrets to be revealed, the android is up to something, and most importantly death that needs to dispensed in a liberal fashion. 

‘Prometheus’ was a fascinating film for me.  On one hand I thought it was genius.  Hardcore science fiction, just the way I like to see my science fiction with big ideas, big thoughts and a heavy payoff.  On the other hand it’s also kind of a mess, saddled with crazy things I don’t think could ever happen even in a place that doesn’t really exist.   Just to touch on some of the silliness, the Geologist (Sean Harris) whose only job is to map the structure, got lost in the structure, which is a just big semi-circle.  That’s damn near impossible for anybody, let alone the dude whose job it is to not get lost.  But he had to be in there because things had to happen.  Now I’m a big scaredy-cat, but I do believe that it should be inter-galactic protocol NOT to drag odd items, like giant severed heads, on your space ship.  Or remove your space helmet because the air seems breathable.  But what do I know?  And you’ve might’ve seen a badass before, but Noomi Rapace’s Dr. Elizabeth Shaw puts all previous badasses to pitiful shame.  Without spoiling it for you, she does something in this movie that Batman, John McClaine, Dirty Harry and Jesus Christ combined couldn’t do.  Mainly because they’re men, but Dr. Shaw is the most hardcore post-op human ever created.  Admittedly these things, and a few more, were a little disappointing because we didn’t expect this type of action movie improbability from this kind of film, but it wasn’t a deal breaker.  At least not for me.

That’s because there’s so much in this movie that is so darned awesome.  The size and scope, the concepts driving the narrative, the look and feel of this movie, and how it this all cleverly intertwined with ‘Alien’ without necessarily being enslaved to it which created a completely different kind of movie watching experience.  ‘Prometheus’ asks a lot of big, important questions, and true enough it answers almost none of them, at least explicitly, but I think the story does give the viewer enough information to draw some semi-logical conclusions.

Certain things we assumed as a given, such as the fine performances put forth by the solid cast of actors, Michael Fassbender, yet again, standing out as David the android, great looking set design, solid action sequences and flawless special effects which when added to the other things we just spoke of, all made for a very satisfying movie-watching experience for me.  Not everybody agrees with this, with these people hoping for something a little more transcendent… maybe a lot more transcendent from Ridley Scott returning to the Alien Universe.  You’re not going to get that, not even close.  But, I think, you are getting a really good movie. 

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