It’s relatively rare to see a sci-fi film of high quality in the cinema, but with over three decades of Alien mythology and a successful franchise to back it up, and with Ridley Scott the master of the original movie at the helm, you can understand why Prometheus got made.
Visually the film is stunning. I’m no advocate of 3D, but it has been used to great effect here. No gratuitous 3D for 3D’s sake, but careful use of the technology to draw the viewer into the story at key moments. In fact the overall design is meticulous and beautiful.
The writing is of high quality too. Damon Lindelof (co-creator and writer of Lost) and Jon Spaihts inject some real imagination into this story. Set some 30 years before the original Alien movie it stays true to the legacy, but without feeling like a re-hash of any of it’s predecessors. Yes there are plenty of similarities, and there are lots of nods/links to Alien and Aliens, however Prometheus manages to find it’s own place in the series. I rate the first two films higher, but this prequel (I don’t care what Scott says - it is a prequel) takes a solid third position.
Admittedly the plot does take a back seat a little during the middle part of the film as the characters (inevitably) start dying in horrific ways, but there are some stand out scenes there which had me staring wide-eyed and open mouthed at the screen!
Michael Fassbender is outstanding, with Noomi Rapace perfectly cast as a sort of precursor to Ellen Ripley. Support cast are all good too, with Charlize Theron and Idris Elba providing solid work. Guy Pearce pops up as an old fella, although I’m not sure why they used Guy in make-up rather than an actual older actor. Presumably Ridley thought Guy Pearce as a fake old man is better than any actor over 70. Not sure I agree.
Despite being beautiful and expertly made the nature of the film means that it can’t muster enough originality to truly carve itself a place in movie history as an iconic film of it’s time. It’s no Alien, but it’s science fiction of the highest quality and it’s enormous fun.