To say that I am a fan of the Alien franchise is a gross understatement. When I was young I watched the first two movies quite frequently (age-inappropriate, but it explains so much), and while the third and fourth installments were somewhat disappointing, when I heard that Ridley Scott was making a loose prequel to the series I was excited.
Prometheus is set about 30 years before the events in Alien, and explains not only the origins of the infamous Xenomorphs, but also of man. Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) discovers clues scattered around the planet that she believes to be a map to man’s creators. The Weyland Corporation sends Shaw and a team of scientists, military personnel and an android named David (Michael Fassbender) to the planet LV-223 in search of an understanding of man’s beginnings. I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll just say that things don’t go as planned.
Ridley Scott’s Alien cemented him as a major director, specifically in the science-fiction genre, and while he may not have revisited it often enough, he nails it in Prometheus. Scott and the production team have made LV-223 both beautiful and frightening. The use of 3-D really adds to the atmosphere of the film, and if you plan on checking out Prometheus I recommend seeing it in 3-D.
Noomi Rapace may be familiar to you as Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish “Millenium Trilogy” (aka Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) films but Prometheus marks her first leading role in a big-budget Hollywood film, she also had a supporting role in the Sherlock Holmes sequel. As Sigourney Weaver’s spiritual successor (should it be predecessor since it’s kind of a prequel?) she nails it. She has many of the same qualities that made Weaver’s performance as Ellen Ripley so legendary.
The supporting characters in the film are all top-notch. Michael Fassbender as the android David is my favorite performance of any of the series’ artificial humans. I really enjoyed early scenes depicting the quiet isolation of David as his human travel-companions are in a two-year stasis. Charlize Theron’s cold Meredith Vickers is another character that adds great depth to the film.
Prometheus may not solve all questions that fans of the Alien franchise had asked, but fans of the series will still have much to enjoy. If you are new to the series don’t be scared that you wont understand what is going on. While it is loosely connected to the Alien franchise it isn’t critical that you have seen the others to understand the plot of Prometheus (although I recommend watching the first two movies just because they are badass). I had almost impossibly high expectations for this film and it got 95% of the way there, which is way more than I can say for many of the other movies that have been released this year.
4 ½ out of 5 Stars