After discovering relics from across the globe pointing us in the direction to humanity’s possible engineers, The Wayland Corporation fund a space-bound scientific expedition to uncover the true origin of the species.
So much nerd-chatter has gone on over the years about the alien ship discovered by the crew of the Nostromo in the first Alien film that a possible prequel always felt plausible, and that besides, I think we all needed something to wash the taste of the brash AvP films out of our collective mouths.
By the grace of some nerdy overlord that must exist somewhere out there we are all living in a time where such a film, after much anticipation, is seeing a release.
Up front I’d like to state that it’s gratifying see a film that’s not being marketed totally ineptly. It would have been easy to sell a film set in the same world as the Alien franchise with big, splashy Alien tie-ins, but the marketing team seem to have realised that a genuine film of quality needs to develop a reputation off its own back and that building the expectation for something that may not exist will inevitably lead to a certain amount of dissatisfaction and then to bad word-of-mouth, no matter what the end result… or maybe they just wanted to distance it from AvP, either way, Prometheus is being sold as a stand alone entity, which is great, because by the end of the film you have no doubt that it deserves to be seen as its own film.
Let’s start by talking about the visuals. If you’re a big enough fanboy that you regularly check out this site, then I’m just gonna assume that you’ve seen at least one of the trailers, in which case, you’ll know the feel and scale that the film aspires to. Well, its aspirations are fulfilled; Prometheus is a visual treat in every sense imaginable. Every part of the design work is wonderful, combining a retro sci-fi edge with more up to date, computer orientated sensibilities that give a sense of classic feeling, high science fiction while simultaneously blazing a brand new trail for itself, meaning that it doesn’t jar when compared to the first two Alien films, but doesn’t stick too religiously to their aesthetics either. Similarly, the vistas and backdrops swing from grand to claustrophobic and back again in a near seamless fashion. Just fantastic.
The acting, in a word, faultless! Don’t be mistaken; this is well and truly Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace’s film, they command it and are unquestionably excellent, but everyone else puts in fine performances that totally sell every scenario presented.
The story is large-scale science fiction to The Max, the kind of story that encompasses the possible beginnings and end of humanity and our relationship to the rest of the universe. It feels like ages since we’ve seen anything of the sort on film and as such brings with it its own grandeur. True, there are a few character driven events within the narrative that may seem unlikely, but no more so than were in any of the other Alien films, and some may find that the conclusion not being quite as cut and dry as one could expect sort of frustrating, but it does leave plenty of wiggle room for forum and pub discussions.
The most impressive thing about the film to my mind though is the combination of all the above to manipulate the ever changing feel of the production. It’s so organic that you barely notice but the film kicks off with a sense of hugeness, once the crew get to work we have something that very much has Alien’s sense of intimacy, then builds to edge-of-seat levels of character based tension, all the while building further to a climax of overlapping events that blow the film’s scale right back up again while simultaneously boggling the mind.
If you’ve read this far I figure you’ve guessed that I highly recommend Prometheus, but I’ll add that you really should try your level best to catch it while it’s on the cinema because it’s simply one of the true experiences that cinema was invented for. Seriously, don’t miss out.
B grade – for storytelling
A grade – for design
A grade – for acting
A- grade – for visual FX
Overall grade- A-