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This past weekend, I was able to see Sir Ridley Scott’s new film Prometheus and, thus, take a side in the love-it-or-hate-it argument it seems to have generated.
The year is 2089 and two archaeologists (Noomi Rapace and Noland Marshall-Green) make a unique discovery they believe may relate to humanity’s origins. With a help of an elderly industrialist (Peter Weyland), they travel aboard the title spaceship to a distant moon. Anyone who has seen the trailer for this film knows what happens next.
Charlize Theron, who plays the mission director, is the best known name in the film’s cast. But she basically disappears for long stretches of the film without explanation. I’m not saying we should’ve seen her as a clone of Sigourney Weaver’s classic Ripley character, but I would’ve liked to see her bring more acting to the film than Scott was apparently allowing. Instead, most of the screen time is devoted to other characters who are basically the same as those in slasher films, in that it is easy to tell who won’t be alive when the end credits begin rolling.
Michael Fassbender co-stars as a crewmember who is an android. I don’t want to compare him to androids we’ve seen in previous Alien, or science fiction, outings, but he doesn’t exactly distinguish himself either.
The scene-stealer of the cast is Idris Elba as the Prometheus’s captain. He is instantly likeable and at least looks like he’s having fun with his role.
Happily, there are some moments that freak the viewer out. Perhaps the best one is when one of the archaeologists discovers she’s been impregnated with an alien and, needless to say, goes to drastic lengths to save herself from meeting the same fate John Hurt met in the original 1979 film.
Otherwise, the emphasis on why some of the characters have a more malevolent agenda than others ends up being confusing and, before long, we simply want the classic H.R. Giger creature to make its appearance.
To the film’s credit, it attempts to tie in with aspects of the world fans have embraced since Alien (1979) first arrived in cinemas. If anything, this film will get you in the mood to watch Alien, and its first sequel Aliens (1986), again.