There was no way the Ridley Scott’s Prometheus would be as good or even better than 1979’s Alien. It’s been around for far too long and stewed in the public consciousness as a master exercise in suspense and a prime example of sci-fi and horror done right. Not since Blade Runner has Ridley Scott made a science fiction film and not only does he do this 30 years later but he returns to a franchise that put him on the map. So, then how does Prometheus work as its own film, aside from being a loose entry into the Alien universe? It’s a solid sci-fi movie that is visually stunning but falls apart with an extremely weak script.
The film stars Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw, an archaeologist that finds a link between remnants of various ancient cultures that point to a specific star system in a far off galaxy. Guy Pierce plays Peter Weyland of Weyland Corp. that funds an expedition on the USCSS Prometheus, to go there to find out the meaning behind the star maps and find the alien link. Micheal Fassbender plays David, an android onboard the Prometheus that is supposed to help out the crew in their expedition with their findings. When they finally arrive at their destination, not only do they receive answers to major questions regarding mankind but danger awaits them on the planetoid of LV-223.
The film is just an absolute joy to look at for its entire running time. Whether its the lush production design and all the detail in the set pieces or the imagery the Scott calls upon to make this return to sci-fi a worthy one. The casting and acting in the film is another highlight as well, with Fassbender and Rapace doing an impeccable job with the material and really carrying their own weight right along side of the story that Scott is telling visually. With Scott shooting the film in 3D as well, made for some extremely well composed 3D images that made the film very immersive and epic in scope. The main problem of the film is that the script is extremely flawed and falls apart by the very end of the film.
Written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, the script poorly develops its characters and turns them into very much cliches through out the film. Another major problem is that the film tackles some very big ideas about the origin of man and religion but never fully commits to them as well, leaving most people scratching their heads about why did these guys even bring these things up in the first place. Again, I don’t need answers and Alien sure didn’t offer plenty of answers in its story, but gives enough credibility to its characters, including the xenomorph, to tell a coherent story. Characters have no motivations, act or react very idiotically or just plain mumble some dialog in order to get to the next portion in the story.
Prometheus leaves quite an opening for a sequel to occur and brings up the notion that all shall be revealed in the second film. I can easily say that I would be willing to return, under the condition that the material be handled in a much more sophisticated way and not just have some half-assed attempt at elaborating on the origin of man, life and death as a means of explaining the core values of what it means to be truly human.