A team of scientists travels to another world to unravel the
mystery of mankind's origins, but soon realize they are not alone.
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof
Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron,
Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Guy Pearce, Sean Harris,
Rafe Spall, Kate Dickie, Benedict Wong
Prequel to 1979's Alien
Oscar Nominations - Best Visual Effects
After a 15 year hiatus, fans rejoiced when they learned that 2012 would see the return of the Alien franchise. Not only that, but original director Ridley Scott would be helming the new film. There were so many things to look forward to about Prometheus. Scott promised the origins of the Xenomorph would be revealed and the film itself could stand on its own as an independent entity. While the film does get better with repeated viewings, it brings up way more questions than it answers. I've watched it at least five times now, and I still don't really know what the hell is going on beyond the first act. Where do the Engineers come from? What is the black oil? Why is David homicidal? Hopefully Scott's next installment of his prequel trilogy will answer at least some of these questions.
Noomi Rapace stars as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, a scientist who discovers a 35,000 year old cave painting that supposedly points to a faraway planet that may be home to a race of superior beings who created humanity. She is a spiritual successor to Ellen Ripley, in that she is strong, resourceful, and is determined to destroy the monsters once she realizes what they are. Alongside her is the always impressive Michael Fassbender as the android David, Charlize Theron as the inexplicably evil Meredith Vickers, Idris Elba as the underused Captain Janek, and Guy Pearce in terrible old man makeup as Peter Weyland. While the cast is not bad, the screenplay really is. These people are supposed to be scientists, yet they ignore every obvious rule of space travel. Some examples include removing their helmets on an alien world, antagonizing alien worms that are likely hostile, and trusting your lives to an emotionless robot. By the end of the movie, not only was I upset that I didn't get to see a Xenomorph, I felt like I had learned nothing new about the series mythology that I didn't already know.
With Alien: Covenant coming out this weekend, my hope is that Ridley Scott addresses some of these concerns and reigns in Prometheus to tie it more closely to the first Alien film. On its own, Prometheus is more of a confusing mess than anything else. The characters are annoying, but the visuals are stunning and the score is breathtaking. It definitely feels like it belongs in the Alien franchise. Just not right next to the first two.