Prometheus (2012)

Film review: Prometheus (2012), directed by Ridley Scott

prometheusIt’s some 80 or so years into the future, and in that time, we’ve gone from putting people on the moon to doing proper interstellar travel. One such expedition is woken up from their stasis aboard the Prometheus by the humanoid robot David (Michael Fassbender) because they’ve arrived at their destination: a planetary system far, far away, which seems to be what ancient peoples around the world mapped out on cave paintings.

Funding the expedition is an old man, Peter Wayland (Guy Pearce in lots of tale-tell makeup, and I wonder why they didn’t just get a really old guy to play the part instead), and his representative on the spaceship is Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), a no-nonsense kinda gal there to keep them all in check.

Piloting the ship is Captain Janek (Idris Elba) and his crew (Emun Elliott and Benedict Wong, not that they get to say much), and there’s also a team of scientists out to explore what they think might be the origins of mankind. The two main scientists, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), are the ones who have been researching the cave paintings, and they found the cave on the Isle of Skye.

So, they land on a planet far, far away and go out to investigate some sort of structure. But what is the structure, and WHAT GOES BUMP IN THE NIGHT? Aliens! Aliens, I tell you!

Also starring Sean Harris as the gruff geologist Fifield, Rafe Spall as Millburn the biologist and Kate Dickie as Ford, a … doctor or something?

Apparently this isn’t a prequel or a sequel to the Alien franchise, but something set in the same universe. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never actually seen any of the films. Unless you count the first five minutes of Alien, and a bit of running about in the snow and dying in Alien vs Predator. Haven’t the foggiest what the aliens are supposed to look like or how it all connects, but they say you don’t need to be familiar with the franchise to enjoy the film. And, well, yeah. I still enjoyed the film.

There’s plenty of gore, I have to say, so if you’re of a sensitive disposition, you might want to give big parts of this a miss. There’s space goo, there’s surgery, there’s blood, there’s tentacles and stuff bursting out of people and icky bits like that.

On the other hand, there are also plenty of interesting things, like Fassbender’s android, who seems to have his own moral code. Can’t quite figure out if he’s meant to be knowingly sinister or just not knowing that doing things a certain way is not necessarily a good idea for everyone else. I suppose, what I’m pondering is if he a sociopath by design or by accident. Still, always nice to see Michael Fassbender on screen, even if he kind of looks like a Nazi era poster boy in this film.

All you need is a swastika and a slogan in a fraktur style font about strong, Aryan workers or something. Creepy.

While I’m not liking gory films in particular, and being unfamiliar with the Alien family, I still thought it was a good film. There was suspense, and it asked some interesting questions. Indeed, if we were manufactured by an alien race, why did they make us? For what purpose?

There is plenty of shots of nature, and those shots are absolutely amazing. Wow, such landscapes! Definitely worth a special mention. Oh, and apparently, the 3D is actually worth it, sources say (hi, TT!) – I wouldn’t know, we saw it in 2D, and it was spectacular enough in that.

If I had seen the other films, maybe I would appreciate the film for different reasons. As it was now, it was a good sci-fi film about a group of humans going to another planet in another solar system on a research mission they probably regretted as soon as they realised things were going pear-shaped. (Or phallus shaped, if you look at those things popping up from the water goo …)

Curiously enough, the Squeeze (Alien veteran) and I gave it the same rating, so they must have done something right. Aside from the “it’s -12°C, let’s all not put our helmets back on!” thing, because that didn’t really make much sense.

4 out of 5 probes.

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