In 1979 Ridley Scott directed a film that despite not being a commercial success has impacted on film, popular culture and resonated throughout the years since its release in every possible positive way, that film was ‘Alien’. Now in 2012 Ridley Scott revisits the universe he helped create with ‘Prometheus’ giving us an long awaited glimpse into the beginnings of this universe and the story of the characters who were involved with it all. Is it a story that we need to see? Is it worth knowing at all? Read on for more…
The story of ‘Prometheus’ may not be what you expect from how it has been advertised in trailers and some of the rumours flying around the net. The story follows a team of explorers who have followed a trail of clues towards the beginnings of mankind, the explorers mission of course has been funded by a business corporation familiar to most fans of the alien franchise as the name Weyland crops up. On the planet they land the group of explorers find a barren place with no signs of life…or so they think, the lifeless planet soon begins to show a much more sinister side as do the motivations of various crew members aboard the prometheus craft. Not before long the lives of the crew are threatened along with the existence of mankind and the future of earth and the explorers must put a stop to it.
|The fantastic ship Prometheus|
Make no bones about it fans of the alien franchise ‘Prometheus’ is most likely going to disappoint especially if one is expecting a heavy presence of xenomorph action. Though the story of the film is far removed from the rest of the alien franchise and if you stay disconnected from all the hype building into the film, the truth of the matter is ‘Prometheus’ is essentially an extremely polished and fantastically produced standard sci-fi film. There is a significant amount to be fascinated with in ‘Prometheus’ but its most significant downfall is a story interesting enough to tie together every other area it exceeds in.
First and foremost the best qualities of ‘Prometheus’ lie within the effects, look and production of the film which are nothing short of fantastic. The landscape and sets on the planet on which the film takes place are both beautiful and terrifying and credit must be given to those behind the set creation and vision for how this place should look. Not only does the planet look good but so does the ship Prometheus as well and it offers enough interesting set pieces and places to observe and admire that make it incredibly pleasing to watch. To go along with the beautiful look of the film the 3D in the film is simply mesmerising, unlike many of the 3D films released today the effort and cost of shooting in the still infant format was fully made for this film and it pulls it off with flying colours. If you have the option to see ‘Prometheus’ in 3D then do so as it is a prime example of how good 3D can actually be, it places the ailing format in good stead for the future and hopefully inspires more studios to take this path when shooting. As for its performance in IMAX it works well especially for the 3D and certainly in showing off the visuals but fails to utilise the sound fully with only scenes involving the prometheus ship taking off or landing making good enough use.
Unfortunately for the outstanding and mesmerising visuals all effort made in this area is let down, not by a substandard story but in the way it was shown with pacing and random events chief amongst its pitfalls. The story as a whole is interesting but the sequences that make up the story are largely uneventful and feel drawn out especially when the crew are not investigating the planet. I feel that had the entire story and events taken place within either the ship or alien buildings in which the crew find themselves in then tension and excitement would have occurred more often and kept the pace from going stale. On the other hand with the scope of the film in mind it would have been difficult to find a good way to pace the film and how it should unfold but it is clear they tried to cram a bit more into the film than they actually needed to.
Despite the stuttering events of the film, the acting by all cast members helps keep interest with the film if by a small margin. Easily the best actor in the film is Michael Fassbender as the android David, outstanding does not seem to do his performance justice and his character takes centre stage throughout the film, it wont be long before Fassbender has his first academy award if he keeps turning in performances like this. In addition to Fassbender, Noomi Rapace may have just had her breakout turn in an English language film. Rapace obviously rose to fame with her strong turns in the Swedish version of the Millennium trilogy but her stint in Sherlock Holes: Game of Shadows was minor and she does fantastic in leading a strong and experienced cast throughout the film.
|Consistently strong cast including Fassbender and Rapace|
Overall ‘Prometheus’ looks fantastic, sounds fantastic and has brilliant acting and production. It is hard not to appreciate the look of the film and the effort in creating this universe but the one aspect that should tie all of these elements together falls short taking the quality away from the film overall. Though ‘Prometheus’ is not a horror and does not intend to be, it still fails to generate the tension and suspense one would expect from a film dealing with its subject matter, the reason for this is in its stop-start story and some indifferent pacing. Should you watch ‘Prometheus’? Yes you should its worth it but do not expect a bundle of excitement or action, what you should expect is a visually stunning Sci-Fi film that does the genre proud and goes far and above most other genre entries but fails to earn the masterpiece status it may have been looking for.