Watched May 31, 2012
Carl Ingebretsen’s review:
Ridley Scott is a talented filmmaker, I'm sure we all can agree on that. Sure, he's done some clunkers (Gladiator, Hannibal), but he's directed two of the best and most influential science fiction movies of all time; Alien in 1979 and Blade Runner in 1982.
Prometheus is a prequel (but don't tell anybody!) to Alien, but it's not a Direct Prequel, meaning that the events in this one DO NOT set the stage for the original film. Both movies share themes, ideas and creature design, but where Alien is more interested in horror, Prometheus goes the other way - into wonder, pondering "the big questions" and trying to give some background and context to the ambiguity of the events that the Nostromo Crew suddenly find themselves in the middle of.
It's an interesting movie, being in part a pondering sci-fi archeology-drama, part b-monster-movie, part horror (often of the "recreational body part" and "birth"-kind - just like in the original film). And it works; the first two acts being sci-fi archeology drama/horror, and when the third act it veers into b-movie territory, it does so without losing track of the sci-fi drama or the "big questions".
The characters aren't anything to write home about. They're perfectly all right for this film and the actors all do a much better job than they should, under these circumstances. Special mention goes to Guy Pearce, who is a revelation in this, Charlize Theron who is pretty fucking great and Idris Elba, because he's just awesome.
Speaking of awesome - David, the android in this, played by Michael Fassbender, is quite possibly the best thing about the entire film. Fassbender is beyond an excellent revelation, playing an android pitch-perfectly throughout the entire film. Simply stunning.
Overall, this is a pretty great film. It's feels very different than the original Alien or any of its sequels, while still being in the same universe and sharing some of the themes and elements. It's a fun blockbuster, icky, philosophical and a bit scary (but not much) in parts. And the overall designs are pretty great, on everything really.
I think the film could maybe have been even better if they had differentiated it even more from the Alien-franchise, but it didn't really matter that much - by the time the credit's rolled, I was grinning, having a lot of fun and being thoroughly entertained. It's like a "Best of" of the Alien-franchise, being a slow exploration-flick from Alien, a bit of action from Aliens, some religious and philosophical stuff from Alien 3 and some new ideas, just like Alien: Resurrection presented (though they're not the same ideas at all).
I really, really liked this. It was cool, entertaining, fun, had some things I didn't see coming and was a great time at the cinemas. Just keep in mind that it's different from the other Alien-films, lower your expectations a bit and you'll be delivered a fun science-fiction horror-adventure that is well-worth seeing again.