Review: Prometheus


Director:Ridley Scott

Cast:Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green

Running Time:123 Minutes


It's best
to keep in mind that when Ridley Scott and the cast say that Prometheus is only tangentially related
to Alien, they really mean it. This
is a completely different beast, no pun intended. Prometheus is an existential blockbuster, a movie that blows your
mind while giving you plenty to chew on after you leave the theater. So far,
this is the only one not directed by Christopher Nolan. Unlike most summer
fare, Prometheus rewards your
patience and intelligence.

The plot,
which must be kept to its bare bones to avoid spoilers, follows an expedition
crew to a distant moon where they hope to find the aliens depicted in cave
paintings across the world. Different tribes, at different times, in different
parts of the world, all have the same artwork: the locals worshipping a giant
pointing to a cluster of planets. To this cluster travels the Prometheus, paid for by the obscenely
wealthy Peter Weyland (an unrecognizable Guy Pearce).

The ship's
crew includes wise-cracking pilot Janek (Idris Elba), stern supervisor Meredith
Vickers (Charlize Theron), and cold android David (Michael Fassbender). The
intentions of the latter two are murky at best. Leading the charge of the
archaeological dig are Elizabeth and Charlie (Noomi Rapace and Logan
Marshall-Green), deeply in love yet scared at what they've gotten themselves into.
It's one thing to hunt for ancient art; it's another thing entirely to fly to a
potentially hostile alien world.

As to be
expected, things go south quickly. A team member gets sick, two others get
separated from the group, and then a violent storm comes in. That's all I'll
reveal of the plot, because there's so much more to discuss than what happens
and who dies.

At the
center of the film is a raging science-vs.-faith debate. Both sides get
challenged throughout the movie, a great bonus on top of the eye-popping
special effects. The acting is stellar across the board, especially Noomi
Rapace and Michael Fassbender, who's on quite a roll here. He's the only actor
I can think of who manages to pull off fearless and charming.

If I must
nit-pick, it's that the action-packed climax of the film feels like we've seen
it before. That's not to say it's done poorly. It's just that the first 90
minutes have given us so much to awe that the finale feels standard. Still,
it's quite a minor complaint in a movie that dazzles from start to finish and
makes you want to see it again to unlock more of its mysteries.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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