'Prometheus' Review By Julian Left
Prometheus is a smash, a success. Ridley Scott pulled the lever and delivered another controversial film that will definitely get better with time. This is a ride you shouldn't miss.
"The Forethinker" says that if you'll visit this film waiting for Ripley to come out with a flamethrower then your whole experience will get flamed. Prometheus is that one of a kind journey people will love to hate because it won't resemble their Alien fantasies. This wasn't supposed to be Alien in the first place so expecting an acid shell shrouding this godlike body will give you as many rewards as a nutshell could ever offer. See this incredible piece without expecting the expected and then you'll get all your questions answered for this new franchise. I already feel sorry for half the people and critics out there who showed no originality and resumed to simply adapt to the general perception without looking for the answers someone else probably missed or didn't find in the first place. Blindness is still a terrifying issue, especially in the film industry.
This movie follows the classical receipt of a great science-fiction flick, takes some of the casual but acceptable cliches and manipulates them in such ways that they become less obvious then they could have been. The story has much to offer even if at the first look it might seem too clear or could be even classified as silly. But the first appearance does not always reflect the true side of things. Sometimes you have to dig deeper and really sell your soul to the intrinsic side of them. Prometheus is exactly like this. That "typical" Ridley Scott film that will weigh much more than it does now.
The film touches new grounds while serving as a distant quasi-prequel to Alien. Some important elements from the original horror film are present here but so are the many differences that can get easily overlooked. The structure is Alien-like but the story serves a whole other purpose. While the structure is heavily cropped within the syntagm "crew that ends up in the middle of a space mission that goes wrong", it really deviates from the original concept where the crew is the main attraction and goes into foreign places where the story is the main factor. The one-dimensional characters from the 1979 film are also present but the interrelationship between them is toned down since the story doesn't revolve around them specifically. The horror elements are mostly gone but they are replaced by the wonderful overstrung and suspenseful atmosphere.
A story that revolves around an existential philosophical concept that could very well start debates between the supporters of Creationism and those of Darwinism. Prometheus has much more philosophical meaning than I thought it will. It does not only ask questions about our beginning and doesn't simply rely on the Von Daniken theories but it actually serves as a realistic possibility. And here I'm not talking about the detailed progression of the film's narrative but about the progression of the basic concept through the film. Questions are asked but most of them are already answered in the film. The ones that stand at the end are definitely there to make room for at least a sequel. Imagine never reading Lord of the Rings, imagine the books never being made, imagine seeing the first film of the trilogy released today in theaters instead of Prometheus. You will leave the theater with so many unanswered questions your head will implode.
Based on the evidence found on Earth from the early days of Sumer and Egypt, this crew led by Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), a wooden corporatist employee that serves Weyland Industries, sets itself into a journey, deep into space, on the way to find our makers. We get acquainted with the crew of this beautifully designed ship named as the film itself, Prometheus. Mainly we have our leading female Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), the scientist who represents the intuitive and dependent of faith way of comprehension, and we have Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) who is a scientist that represents the rational way of comprehension. They are both lovers and their connection most definitely grew because of the fact that they complete themselves. Next to them we get the fancy, comical and punkish captain Janek (Idris Elba), and the owl-like android David (Michael Fassbender), the rusty and still underdeveloped robot that kinda resembles the legendary HAL9000. Once they end up on the planet LV-223 (which is not the same planet from Alien), everything changes and that's when the movie starts slowly to kick in, building it's way to the spectacular third act. The crew sometimes might take sloppy decisions, might resume to some silly moments of dialogue, and might get involved into cliched situations but the beauty is in the visual narration of all this scenes. And I refuse to be hypocritical and not admit that Ridley's science-fiction films were always driven by their gorgeous visual narration much more than they were by their story.
The performances here are really amazing, almost everyone channeling something similar and familiar to us. Noomi Rapace channels Ripley's demeanor and strength, while Michael Fassbender steals the show channeling not only the idealism personified by T.E. Lawrence but also the physical "elitism" represented by the Olympic diver, Louganis. Charlize Theron is bossy in her role but it does kinda feel like she was rehashing leftovers from her performance in "Snow White & the Huntsman". Idris Elba's performance is probably the cherry on the pie, adding good contrast and balance to the relatively more serious surrounding characters. Logan Marshall-Green makes a great debut and Guy Pearce will probably surprise anyone with his impeccable delivery and mannerism. We enjoy these characters with all their one-dimensionality because that's where Ridley really succeeds. Connect the audience to characters that may seem to be the obvious choices by creating the perfect environment for them to work in.
Once we reach the third act the massive scale of this film really hits you in the chest (no pun intended). There's so many ridiculously good things happening that you can't really hold to not smile at the end. Prometheus, with no exaggeration, holds one of the best thirds acts in the last decade. This last act basically lifts up the film from the level of good to spectacular. It's not scary but it is so frightening and harsh and full of symbolism that many will have a hard time picking during their first view. The pacing can be too fast at one point but I don't really know if that's a positive or a negative thing since I enjoyed it and I never really thought it could be a problem even though I see why for some it may be.
Technically this movie is top notch. Not only the practical sets and stage effects are incredible but also the CGI. The Universe Map room and the "sandstorm" are one of the most breathtaking moments during this film. The intro for this film is already a classic in my book. Beautifully shot, perfectly edited, and complimented by a great score which works terrific in the context of the film but may be forgettable as a stand-alone piece of music, Prometheus delivers a hell of a ride. It's basically a carousel of all colors that knows what it wants and makes the first step in the right direction with this new franchise. I cannot wait for a sequel to this since the big questions are still there like those galaxies and constellations our ancestors point the finger at. Most answers are already in the film, and the questions that are left unanswered set the perfect launch-pod for the next film.
Prometheus is a smash, a success. Ridley Scott pulled the lever and delivered another controversial film that will definitely get better with time. This is a ride you shouldn't miss, a journey through a visceral and immersive world that asks relevant questions using the purest form of entertainment. I can only be disappointed in one thing. The fact that this movie had incredible potential of being an instant classic and ruined that chance because of some silly decisions made. But even this disappointment says how good the film really is and how much some already missed.
In the end you may ask yourselves... "But what's with the "Forethinker" thing?".
I guess you'll just have to find out, don't you?
Technical Execution: 9.8
Replay Value: 10