Prometheus: A Review

I heard great feedback about this movie  long before it was shown on the big screen but I swear I had no idea what it was about before I stepped into the cinema. All I knew that it was about a deep space mission to another planet and it starred Michael Fassbender. Period. But this Ridley Scott movie is not just an ordinary sci fi flick but is rather designed to be the prequel to one of the most important sci fi franchises of all time — Aliens. And this just about knocked my socks off and raised the bar of my expectations tenfold (especially after I researched and discovered that Scott directed the original Alien movie in 1979).

Prometheus revolves around a deep space mission to discover the origins of man after archaeologists link symbols found on cave walls indicating that men were created by ancient beings from outer space and that the symbols were left to lead the path to find man’s creators. Thus, the ship’s name Prometheus, after the Titan who sought to give man fire for the development of his civilization.  The team, composed of the robot David (Fassbender), Ms. Vickers (Charlize Theron), captain Janek (Idris Elba), archaeologists Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and her partner Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), with several others, set off on the mission funded by tycoon Peter Weyland  (Guy Pearce) who has his own agenda for finding civilizations “engineers.” However, when they arrive at their destination, they get more than they bargained for as they discover what the symbols truly mean, piles of corpses of giant versions of beings who share the same DNA strand as humans –and that what they expected to be the origin of civilization may actually be the race of destroyers that have the capability and intent to wipe out humankind.

I have to say that Prometheus is a visually stunning movie in the sense that the cinematography is excellent, the CGI flawless and each scene with its framing and use of special effects is amazing. As for the story development, it progresses at a slower pace than most sci fi movies, and establishes the characters’ roles in the grand scheme of things in a leisurely pace. The air of mystery cloaks the entire movie as a hidden element lies at the sidelines of each scene, leaving audiences to hazard their own guesses.

Drs. Holloway and Shaw, together with David explore an area in the cave where a giant head guards vases of organic elements.

Michael Fassbender, as usual, stepped up the plate and delivered another excellent performance as David, the robot who wants to break free of the control of his master, and who is regarded by the humans as an emotionless accessory. Charlize Theron didn’t do much as the mysterious Ms. Vickers, who supposedly runs the show at the ship whose true mission is unclear given each person’s different motive. The rest of the cast did well enough in their predictable character stereotypes. Sadly, they did not seem to connect to the audience as much as I would have expected.

Compared to its supposed predecessors, Prometheus is a pretty laid back movie as the action does not measure up to the franchise, perhaps because it is an origin story but really, the movie does not really answer much except for the beginning of the Alien colony. The question as to why the “engineers” wanted to eliminate the race that they created was left unanswered, and what happened to the survivors who set off for the origin planet. In short, it does not really tell a full story and that is what I am having trouble reconciling with.

All in all, Prometheus was a pretty decent movie, well crafted and well thought out despite the hanging ending. However, if compared to the other movies in the franchise, it kind of lacks the punch that got sci-fi geeks worshiping Sigourney Weaver as the ultimate badass chick in outer space. It was awesome to have Scott return to the franchise that started it all though. Very very cool, and for this fact alone I am 100 percent thankful for this movie.

On a related note, I stumbled on this article this morning (spoilers alert) and it seems that the movie indeed raised a lot of questions aside from what I’ve just mentioned. Feel free to join the fray. What’s the Biggest Unanswered Question in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus?