Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron
Director: Ridley Scott
Running Time: 124 mins
Prometheus is an American film about a team of explorers who find a mysterious structure on a far-off moon, where they aim to find the secrets to the origins of mankind, but soon find that the location harbours danger.
Although it’s not on the exceptional levels of Alien (of which it is a part of the same universe), I was really impressed with Prometheus. With a slow pace that builds tension and extreme eeriness right from the start, it’s a riveting sci-fi movie, providing thrills with its simplistic and sleek action story, but bringing some good stakes and drama to the table too with a very original take on a belief as old as time.
First off, it’s fair to say that this film isn’t the most action-packed, nor the fastest-paced blockbuster of all time. However, with so many of those movies flooding screens all over the world for the last couple of decades, it’s always refreshing to see a film that tries something a little different, as is the case with Prometheus.
From the start, its incredibly eerie Blade Runner-esque vibes had me captivated, and although it still takes a good half an hour to really burst into life, with brilliant visual effects that bring the spaceship and the time period as a whole to life, an unnerving score and a very unsettling performance early on from Michael Fassbender, I was enthralled regardless.
Of course, the film isn’t entirely devoid of action. Again, while it isn’t quite as exceptional as Alien (i.e. I never feared for my own life as I did watching Alien), there’s still a good deal of entertaining action, as the explorers find themselves pitched against a very mysterious and seemingly unstoppable force that they almost never come into contact with, making the action both fun to watch and still adding another level of intrigue to the story.
And just as Ridley Scott did in 1979 with Alien, there’s another very gruesome and very memorable sequence that I won’t go into here, but it suffices to say that you will be covering your eyes for a moment or two. Despite that, it’s not a gratuitously gruesome scene, and fits in brilliantly with ever-growing unease surrounding everybody in the film, proving a brilliantly exciting spark for the film’s final act to kick off.
However, along with the strongly unnerving sci-fi vibes and the impressive action, Prometheus proves riveting on yet another level, as it goes into a really interesting look at themes of faith and deities, taking cues from real mythology and expertly blending it with sci-fi fantasy. It may seem a little silly at first, but thanks to the Scott’s directing style (which is vaguely reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s semi-religious 2001: A Space Odyssey), those deeper themes actually become a really powerful part of the story, making this more than just a sci-fi movie, and bringing some real stakes to affairs here.
Because, although the action side of the story works well thanks to its more simplistic structure, there is an argument that the film is just two hours of explorers running back and forth (arguably idiotically) between their ship and the mysterious structure.
However, it’s the deeper side of the story that keeps things interesting, as we’re given a very convincing reason for the characters’ desire to continue exploring into what is so obviously a dangerous place: their undying faith that this is the cradle of the gods that created humanity, a theme that also lends many of the characters much greater depth, and adds some emotional stakes to the story, which was excellent to see.
Finally, when it comes to the performances, it’s clear that the likes of Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender do an excellent job in the lead roles. Rapace is an excellent action hero, but she lends her character’s faith and emotional turmoil convincing depth throughout, while Fassbender is brilliantly unnerving throughout as the humanoid robot David, using a very robotic performance to great effect, putting you on edge as it’s never really clear what he’s up to.
Some of the supporting cast members aren’t so impressive. Although the likes of Idris Elba are likable in the film, their characters don’t have all that much to offer, while some like Charlize Theron, who could have had a much larger impact on the film as a whole, feel a little suprlus to requirements, and don’t add the drama and greater stakes that could have made the film even more unsettling.
Overall, I really liked Prometheus. It’s not a perfect film, but it’s a different take on sci-fi, one that blends good, simple action with riveting drama and themes, as well as a powerfully unsettling and eerie vibe directed by Ridley Scott, making for an overall enthralling watch, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.8.