“A fairly solid thrilling experience, despite not meeting the hype”
Lately, I was going through a ‘Ridley Scott marathon’, having covered many of his films long ago, I just ensured that I watched some of those that I missed, so as to have a good assessment of his latest sci-fi alien slasher-ish Prometheus. Looking back at his 1979’s Alien, there are similarities that you can’t leave out regarding the storyline, and maybe even the characters as well.
Having gone through the slicky futuristic weylandindustries.com website, and the Prometheus clips that went viral, I really expected it to go over the top; unfortunately it didn’t turn out to be a neo-classic. Although, being below expectation, I must say; the movie certainly has many breath-taking moments and stunning visuals. Well, before I jump in, let me remind you, it’s mandatory that you watch Alien before heading for the line, or else you might even take it an absolute disaster.
The film has a great connection with the 70’s alien thriller. The whole story takes place in the future, but happens before the period in Alien. Prometheus is a space program commissioned by the Weyland Industries owned by Peter Weyland, which is leading an expedition to unravel the mystery behind the creation of man. Their intergalactic investigations are based on scriptures from different civilizations of the past on the Earth, which points to a planetary system similar to that of ours with a sun.
The crew consists of archaeologists, geologists, biologists, and the specially built android, David 8. The spaceship in this film is superior to that in Alien (which you might question by the end of this post) – the sophisticated, 3D holographic screens and maps akin to Iron Man’s, the freezers and dinner tables from Alien, a fully automated medpod for conducting surgeries, everything’s tip-top; the ultimate spaceship meant for exploration (lacks weaponry though, as it is meant for only scientific exploration). That’s well and good- you have the first impression, much like how we get a glimpse of the ship in Alien at the start of the film.
Upon reaching the destination (the moon of a planet), the team of experts led by archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway (Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green), set for exploration into a cave (following signs of life), having scriptures, and mural-like-painting-like-things (coz it starts moving) on the walls and the giant human head sculpture; giving them clues of human existence on the planet! These scenes are really chilling and nostalgic (Alien).
Under such a frightening background, a rift in the team is expected, and it goes by the cliché; and the separated group have their first encounter with alien life forms in these caves. And also, there’s another, 15-20 minutes of nerve-racking certified R sequences back in the ship, which is one of the highlights of the film. Noomi Rapace and her counterpart Logan Marshall-Green really drive the film forward, but the whole standard was raised by Michael Fassbender- perfectly fitting into his robotic role as ‘David’ . It also has brilliant support from Charlize Theron (Meredith Vickers, the ship commander), and Guy Pearce, acting out the multi-billionaire Peter Weyland and Idris Elba (Captain Janek) also doing a fine job.
The thing about the storyline is that, it was purely scripted for the franchise, The film’s climax paves way for the story in ‘Alien’, hence naturally it (Prometheus) is a prequel. And casting Guy Pearce for the role of the senile billionaire,when there are other great performers suiting the role, has more relevance as far as a franchise is concerned. Methinks there’s more on the way and probably a prequel to Prometheus starring Guy Pearce. May be!
Alright, so although the story goes by almost the same route and Ridley Scott just meeting the standards set by him 33 years ago, the cinematic experience doesn’t go dry and is backed by the post-modern techs available in cinema today, giving us epic stunning visuals and neatly supported by the bunch of A-listers. The hype might give Prometheus an edge over Madagascar 3, but Madagascar has a wider release. Its a tight race this weekend for the top spot. I’d give it a rating of 3 stars upon 5, for a fairly solid thrilling experience, despite not meeting the hype.
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