Ridley Scott’s prequel to his classic sci-fi Alien is a contemporary revival of a genre that the director is seasoned at. With escapades into foreign territory, Prometheus is an unabashed return to formulaic science fiction fare – but in the best possible way. A sequel is well on it’s way so it felt appropriate to pay due respect to the somewhat under-appreciated 2012 feature. One of the biggest selling points is the ferocious cast, which reads like a who’s who in Hollywood right now: Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron and Guy Pearce all join together to strengthen a script in need of some TLC.
Firstly, it’s almost impossible to successfully convey the plot without writing convoluted ramblings. I’ll try anyway. Its 2089 and a team of archeologists, geologists and fans of “Big fucking rocks” arrive on an alien planet on the Prometheus ship, in the hopes they will meet their makers – or ‘engineers’ – as they like to call them. What the team encounter is a host of unfriendly foes who wish to stay a mystery. It all sounds confusing but on screen it makes sense…just pay really good attention for 124 minutes and you’ll get it, I’m sure.
The running time is certainly an issue, and there is definitely not enough character development afforded to any of the ensemble apart from Rapace’s protagonist Elizabeth. Fassbender as robot David is her equal when it comes to who needs the most attention paid, and as always he sparkles with enthusiasm – you will never get less than 100% from this diverse actor. Fassbender has managed to engulf the mannerisms of the futuristic AI rather successfully. The sequel should promise a further glimpse into the lives of the pair – if the follow up stays true to the end of its predecessor.
The weaknesses of Scott’s feature can be overlooked when it comes to the quality of computer graphics and the intelligent use of contemporary technology seen in the film. Images of holographic visions from the past are coupled with some nauseatingly real alien effects and fans of the genre will be in their element. On a budget of $120 million we wouldn’t expect any less.
Scott’s return to the Alien franchise is perfectly judged, and while Prometheus isn’t cinematic gold it is an entertaining ride that boasts some original ideas (which today’s industry seems to be lacking hence the ridiculous number of remakes coming our way). The final scene pays homage to a cult moment in cinematic history and who doesn’t love a little bit of nostalgia.