Prometheus, directed by the great and powerful Ridley Scott, is an honorary addition to the Alien franchise. A team of engineers, pilots, medical experts, and archeologists embark on a interplanetary mission to trace the origin of humankind. However, as they discover an artificially made structure on a distant moon, trouble soon ensues. This movie has an absolutely smashing cast with the lights of Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Idris Alba, Guy Pearce, and Benedict Wong.
If I were to sum up Prometheus in one sentence it would be this: The first half was reminiscent of Alien, while the second of a confused and sub-par science fiction movie. It is unquestionable that this is a controversial film (just look at the spectrum of YouTube videos discussing the highs and lows of this movie), but to be totally frank it was always going to be. The Alien franchise hit a streak of bad films since Aliens, so it was unsurprising that Prometheus was always going to be judged harshly. There was always going to be that group of people who were going to compare Prometheus to those other films. This movie really had to impress its audience to be characterized as a successful sequel.
The absolute lowest of the Alien franchise; Ripley giving birth to a human-xenomorph hybrid in Alien Resurrection
Prometheus was by no means a by-the-numbers sci-fi flick. It was surprisingly philosophical. It pondered the very question of human existence; who is our creator? Does our creator have a creator? Does our creator admire or fear us? Is religion a cultural conspiracy designed for us to assign a face to our creator? These were the questions that were raised (and partially answered) over the entirety of the film, and I tip my imaginary hat off to Ridley Scott for having the courage to discuss these.
As mentioned previously, I really admired the first half of this film. It reminded me of the greatness of Alien. In particular, I loved the camaraderie between the different crew members and the gradual buildup of tension and suspense as they entered an unknown alien excavation site to have their questions answered. The lighting, set design, score and visual effects were awesome; truly reminiscent of any number of top notch science-fiction movies of today. The camerawork was also smooth and admirable. There were some breathtaking shots that amalgamated modern visual effects technologies with real sceneries to create a dark and gloomy extra-terrestrial environment.
Michael Fassbender’s character was the star of the film for me. His name was David and SPOILER ALERT and he was an android. David was cunning, observant and always had something interesting to say. He had also held an important confession from Elizebeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), which made their dynamic really interesting.
Now lets talk about the negatives of Prometheus. The second half. That’s about it. The last hour or so of this movie was underwhelming. It lacks the suspense the first half had spades of, and deviates from where I thought this film was going to go. We get introduced to a character that I feel was a waste. We weren’t given much context to him/her earlier in the film so their presence seemed out of place. There was also a particular sequence inside a medical chamber that I have ambivalent thoughts about. Yes, it was very gory and made my stomach churn but it was also very unrealistic from a medical perspective. There was also an action sequence that takes place on the loading area of the spaceship that I didn’t enjoy. Some of the crew members also made very rookie mistakes on their mission that infuriated me i.e. touching alien entities when it’s pretty obvious that you shouldn’t, and worse, contaminating surfaces and others once they did so.
In summary, Prometheus is a divisive movie, and for good reasons. In my view, it had an excellent array of set designs, visual effects and soundtracks. It was also bold in that it chose to be both philosophical and adventurous. However, its second half was a bit of a disaster, for the reasons mentioned above.