Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is the kind of film that hardcore science fiction fans dream about; the problem is everyone else might not agree. Science fiction is such a niche genre that in order to pull of something truly creative and genius you have to alienate at least some of your general audience. Prometheus swings for the fences and while not everything sticks, the effort must be applauded.
Depending on how you look at it Prometheus is either a prequel to Scott’s groundbreaking Alien film or a total reboot of the franchise. Considering that it is fitting that Scott begins his film literally at the beginning. After a breathtaking tour through the early day of planet Earth, we are shown a humanoid figure sacrificing himself to create the strands of what would one day become humanity.
From there the story takes us into the not too distant future as a group of scientists have found what they believe to be an invitation, built within numerous archeological findings from all over the world, to literally meet our Makers.
The root of the story revolves around Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) who has been searching for the answers to life’s big questions ever since she was a young girl. The answers Scott provides are truly not what anyone would expect from such a philosophical film. “We named the ship Prometheus as a reference to the character in Greek mythology who alternatively gave fire to man or shaped man’s image from clay,” explains Scott. “ In either case, he was instrumental in changing the entire evolution of mankind. He also angered the gods in a big way and suffered mercilessly for it. All three aspects of the myth have clear analogies in our story.”
“The reason I haven’t made another sci-fi film in so many years, apart from the fact that I’ve been busy making other films and exploring different genres, is because frankly I haven’t come across anything worthwhile for me to do with enough truth, originality and strength. Prometheus has all three,” he notes.
The film is not without its flaws. Despite truly astounding visuals and a solid script it falls victim to some fairly large plot holes. More than once you will find yourself yelling at the screen as educated scientists seem to knowingly make themselves monster bait. But without characters like that it wouldn’t be a horror movie.
To be fair, the film is worth seeing for Michael Fassbender alone. Fassbender plays David, an android who watches over the members of the crew while they are in suspended animation. After the crew has awoken his role instantly changes from caregiver to servant, something that does not go unnoticed by the robot. David, it seems, has his own motives for the journey and while he operates in the background for much of the film nevertheless works with a quiet manipulation.
In the constant debate between 3D and regular formats, the audience should always choose the 3D with Prometheus. The added dimension takes the film to a whole new level and those seeing it in the regular format are truly missing key elements of the story without it.
Although not everyone will like the film, one must admire Scott’s willingness to venture into new territory and turn his beloved franchise into something much bigger than it was intended to be. The first Alien was a straight horror film, a bunch of people in space with a monster, but the new information given by Prometheus turns that into a much bigger battle with more at stake.