Film Review: Prometheus

Prometheus HeaderAfter seeing Prometheus it is easy to find meaning in why they chose this name for the film (and ship).  For those of you who don’t know about this titan in Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from the gods to give to humans, something that he was torturously punished for.  And here, we have a group of people traveling through space looking for knowledge to further their understanding of the universe and life.  Comparison drawn, now time for these people to suffer.

As far as a synopsis goes that was pretty light, but as fellow HST writer Zac would tell you, “vagueness is your friend.”  What I can say is that whether you are a fan of Ridley Scott’s previous work or not, you will be on equal footing.  Prometheus does take place in the same universe as Alien, but we have a stand-alone story here that doesn’t really connect to the other films enough to dub it a prequel.  There is no need to even know who Ripley is, but I am going to suggest a decent level of interest in sci-fi as a prerequisite.  And the willingness to not quite understand exactly what happened and why.

As I came out of my screening I heard a lot of complaints that it was a challenge to care for the wellbeing of these characters, and I will say that where you fall on agreeing with this comment or not will rely on your connection to Noomi Rapace, seeing as she is the closest to an emotional center as we will get.  Other than with her performance in the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (I have yet to see its sequels), I have been waiting for her to break out into a full-blown actress.  Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows didn’t do it for me, and based on her character in the beginning here I was afraid this was going to go the same way based on her character and some cheap emotional tricks to pull at our heartstrings.  However, when she finally gets her first “action” sequence in this I found myself in her corner with no plans to leave it.

This may not be enough to care for these characters on the whole, but that is not to say that they don’t make the movie what it is.  I’m pointing a finger at you, Michael Fassbender.  As the man that seemingly does no wrong, Fassbender continues his great film career playing a completely engrossing Arian cyborg.  As the ship travels through space he is alone as the rest of the crew sleeps, and one of the first things we witness him do is take a hook shot while riding a bike.  Something that can easily be laughed off as nothing more than that, yet this image would haunt me for some reason throughout the rest of the film because of its childishness.  From then on out, I made it my mission to understand the motivation of this character, something a cyborg shouldn’t even have.  Yet I continued to be fascinated by his fearless curiosity that mirrors the lead scientists on this team in their journey to learn, even though now I still don’t quite know what was going on with him.

I know that may not sound too exciting, but I really don’t want to get too into the elements and story of the film.  Just know that there are the sci-fi and “horror” elements that drew you to the world of Alien years ago.  Heck, you may very well be disappointed when you leave the theater, but I still beg you to consider going if you need a push.  The visual and practical effects are stunning (as is the 3D), and Prometheus will undoubtedly lead to many conversations with your fellow viewers.  But if anything, do it for Fassbender.

Final Grade: B     

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