If I had to rank my Top 3 “Most Anticipated” Films of 2012, Prometheus would have been a gut wrenching #4 choice. It’s not that I wasn’t really looking forward to it, but nothing will ever top my love for the Nolan’s Batman series, which I considered masterpieces, and Seth Grahame-Smith’s literary mash-up work, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. And oh yeah, there was that small tribe of insignificant Marvel superheroes too. What were they called? Oh yeah! The Avengers! So to say Prometheus didn’t have a little competition this year would be like saying peanut butter and chocolate don’t go together, BECAUSE THEY DO! One thing’s for certain ladies and gents, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Prometheus to start rolling last Thursday night. I could not wait to take it all in…the science fiction…the breathtaking landscapes…and the ALIEN(s). Oops! Did I say too much? Come on, we’re all adults here. Let’s play nice. I promise, to keep this review spoiler-free. So let’s get this party started! What say you?
You know that good old saying be careful what you wish for? Well, the same principle can be upheld here in regards to the plot of Prometheus where similar to the beliefs within the literary work of Chariots of the Gods, astronauts and archeologists go out in search of the truth of our existence without little regards to the potential dangers and hazards when they open Pandora’s Box, so to speak. Because after all, we all know we had a little help from an alien race back in the day, do we not? Regardless, the premise and production of Prometheus was marked with a high level of secrecy, which rivaled most government clearances, and rightfully so because everyone wants/wanted to know…IS this an Alien prequel or not? That’s the million dollar question on everyone’s mind OR at least how much does it tie in with the existing Alien mythos is probably a more accurate one. If you read the Prometheus issue of Entertainment Weekly not too long ago, I don’t think I even need to go any further with consideration because you have already spoiled it for yourself.
Going by what Director Ridley Scott says, Prometheus shares strands of Alien’s DNA and takes place in the same universe. Enough said, right? Right! The science fiction outing stars a now more beautiful than ever Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender (fully clothed this particular outing), Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green and I got to say, an incredibly smoking hot Charlize Theron. My God! What has happened to her? She looks more incredible every time I see the woman. The rules of aging are completely reversed for her as she defies them all.
So as I kind of mentioned before, the story of Prometheus is set in the late 21st century, 2089-2093 to be exact, and focuses on the crew of the spaceship of the same name as they follow a hunch by archeologists who believe they identified a star map in drawings found in ruins and caves of ancient civilizations here on Earth that they believe leads to the origins of humanity. Don’t they know nothing’s ever as easy as it seems? It’s always the things you think that are foolproof that end up causing frustration and going awry in life. Oh well. It’s a movie! We’re supposed to have complex twists and turns. So let the Act 2 fun and games section begin!
The crew of the Prometheus land near what I can best describe as some kind of “alien” temple that has been long abandoned. They cannot wait to explore. With less than only six hours of daylight left, the eager crew venture out into the great unknown wearing those bubbles on their heads for good reason, the air is a little hard to breathe out there. Have you ever heard of the word terraforming? I read a great deal about it while researching the Saturn moon of Titan, some time ago, and how life could be possible on it. Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with the term before going to check out Prometheus. You’ll thank me later. So anyway, where were we? Oh yeah!
After making a discovery of a long, but not forgotten dead alien body, the sh1t starts to get real. Things go bump in the night and black liquid starts oozing everywhere. But along the way, a remarkable discovery is made. The dead alien body I referred to sentences ago shares a unique trait with us…its’ DNA is a match with ours. Eureka! The trip to this distant planet wasn’t a waste after all! But remember I said that things are not always as easy as they seem in life? One horrifying event after another, this sh1t is going down.
And really…that’s as much as I can tell you without spoiling things. Scott was dead on with his statement I mentioned above. Prometheus shares similar DNA and traits with Alien and takes place in the same universe, but it’s a completely different movie. Sadly, the things that made the original Alien so horrifying and suspenseful are absent here, but wow if that alien environment and extraterrestrial terrain is not a thing of beauty to beheld. The cinematography captured by the RED Epic was simply breathtaking here against the landscapes of England, Iceland, Spain and Scotland, not to mention the technology. My God I want one of those medical pods. I would never have to go to the doctor again.
Just like all the guys got to ogle over Scarlett Johansson’s assets in the Avenger’s spandex, we get treated to much the same here with Charlize in her formfitting spacesuit. And I loved every minute of it! Actually, there’s a lot to love about the characters in Prometheus. I guess you can say the brave character of Shaw, portrayed by Noomi Rapace, is the closest we get to a Sigourney Weaver from the legendary franchise, but completely different in some respects. That’s one thing Scott challenged himself with as to how to both differentiate the story and characters from the original Alien franchise and in my opinion; I do believe he succeeded in at least that. A fully clothed Michael Fassbender, who portrays the ship’s butler and maintenance android David, is fabulous as ever. Really, is he ever flawed in the acting department? And much to my surprise, I truly enjoyed Idris Elba’s performance as the vessel’s captain. His character stood out to me and really knocked it out of the park, in more ways than one as you’ll see in the film. And last but not least, there’s Guy Pearce. I challenge you to pick him out of the crowd. It wasn’t until the credits rolled that I went oh my God, that was him?!
So this is what it all boils down to. Was Prometheus a good story? Did it suffer? Did it falter? Did it splinter? In hindsight, I believe it did, but only marginally and not as much as the lackluster Snow White and the Huntsman I saw days before. I would say as it relates to the likes of the Marvel superhero movie Captain America, Prometheus stands as little more than a setup for an eventual sequel. Heck, I think the movie raised even more questions than it answered if you ask me and a sequel is almost unavoidable in my opinion. I would have been perfectly fine with this setup, but like the recent novel I read, Fifty Shades of Grey, I feel it leaves you hanging a lot. Is that a bad thing? I would say no, but that all depends upon your level of tolerance. The more I think about Prometheus while writing this, the more I can’t wait to see it again, but when the credits rolled last Thursday night I turned to my friend and said that was it? He said the same thing. I appreciated very much the nostalgia of the Alien universe, but I was expecting a lot more. This is Ridley Scott back in the legendary Alien universe he created. It’s a recipe for success, isn’t it? Ah! There you go. I set it all up perfectly. Things that seem easy or like a no-brainer aren’t always the case. And so I thought long and hard about this, I’m going to see this again and I’m going to buy this on Blu-ray, but for the time being I can’t help going with my gut here in my below score. Maybe I’ll like it more the second time around, but I don’t see this as a movie that’s going to produce much repeat business in the theaters. And with that being said, I also don’t feel this deserved a R-rating either. Besides a few F-bombs, there wasn’t anything in here that you didn’t see in the likes of Alien Vs. Predator. Enjoy it for what it is, not a terrific piece of science fiction, but rather a much-needed trip down memory lane filled with beautiful bombshells, a fully clothed Fassbender and beautiful/exotic landscapes and cinematography that will take your breath away.