The final film in my Alien marathon before this Friday’s Alien: Covenant, Prometheus is a very interesting film. I remember when it was released, it wasn’t receiving the kind of praise I believed it would. While it didn’t get negative praise, it leaned a lot more towards the mixed side and I wondered why that was. When I finally sat down and watched the film for the first time, I didn’t see the negative side to it and found myself really liking the film. As I was watching all of the films in consecutive order, I noticed something different about my viewing this time around and found myself actually liking the film less than previous viewings. I don’t hate this movie and still find myself liking it but I think there are a lot of flaws in this film that deal mostly with the plot and characters.
Prometheus asks the questions “where do we come from?” and “who created us?”. The crew of the spaceship Prometheus set out to hopefully find the answers to these questions following a map they found in different ancient artifacts among the earth. Once they arrive on the moon LV-223, they make some stunning discoveries that are both amazing and terrifying.
The cast in this film is top notch all the way through. Noomi Rapace stars as Elizabeth Shaw, an archeologist who is the Ripley-Esque character that stands on her own as opposed to just being a rip-off of that character. Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers is a cold and stern woman who works for Weyland Corporation and has the viewer questioning her true motives and if she isn’t who she seems. Idris Elba as the captain of the Prometheus had the most humor and a surprisingly good arc in the film that I got behind. The true standout however is Michael Fassbender as David, the android who longs to be human or at least taken as such in the eyes of his peers. He absolutely shines in this role and plays it with the right amount of charm but a certain level of mystery that kept me intrigued every time he was on screen and every time he was on screen, I wished he wouldn’t leave the frame. Those four characters are the best in the film and probably the only four I actually cared about. The rest of the characters are either extremely disposable or downright annoying because of the choices they make. It’s a shame because the thing that made the first Alien, Aliens and even Alien 3 was that every character was special and made you care about them or at least be invested. This film however, has four good characters and then nothing more.
This film is one of the most beautiful films ever made. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, each shot more grandiose than the last. The visual effects are some of the best I’ve seen in any film. I never asked pointed out to myself what was CGI and what wasn’t because I couldn’t tell. It all blended so seemlessly, you’d think LV-223 was a real place.
The was the film delves a little deeper into the Alien mythos is really well done because it starts to set things into perspective but doesn’t actually give too many answers (supposedly saving some for the newest film) and asks a few more questions about the creation of humanity and other things like it. I find myself so invested in this universe that every time I have the chance to have the littlest thing learned about it, I love it and this film gives you little details but leaves a lot up to interpretation, something I love when films do.
Towards the second half of the film, the intensity is ratcheted up and has a few standout set piece moments that’ll be sure to excite. One particular scene is going to make fans of the classic chestburster in the original very happy with it’s gross and gory nature.
The film’s plot has a few issues with it but that is mostly do to the characters issue. Some of the things that happen are largely due to the stupidity of the characters decisions and knowing that some set pieces were a consequence of this left me feeling kind of angry. It’s one of those films where the actual plot and ideas are top notch and extremely intriguing, but the way they’re presented are sometimes kind of head scratching. That being said I’d still rewatch this film for the mythology.
Prometheus is a well made, thought-provoking sci-fi film that looks absolutely stunning. In terms of the overall Alien series, I’d put this last with Alien 3 actually being a better and more investing film due to it’s overall plot working better and the entire set of characters being more fleshed out. However, it still has a convincing set of lead characters with Michael Fassbender’s android David truly standing out even if the rest of the characters aren’t very memorable. Some of the choices of these characters make and how the plot unfolds doesn’t necessarily work. But, due to an intrigue like no other and a fun and thrilling finale, this film is definitely worth a watch both before Alien: Covenant and if you’re a fan of Alien in general.