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.
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).
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.
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.