Prometheus (2012) Mini Review

“Big things have small beginnings.”

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce

Synopsis: A semi-prequel to Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi horror, Alien (1979), Prometheus sees archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead an expedition to a distant planet: the home of the engineers, the forefathers of humanity. What they find there is far more dangerous than they ever could have imagined.

Michael Fassbender's David.
Michael Fassbender’s David.

Hello CGI! Lots of CGI! All of the CGI in the world. If you look back on the Alien series and remember impressive practical effects and claustrophobic, detailed sets, and come into Prometheus expecting more of the same, you’re in for a surprise. Because there’s CGI literally everywhere to be seen. It is at least pretty impressive, unlike the illogical plot and characters, some of whom are not smart enough to be able to step sideways to save their own lives (that’s actually a thing).

It’s director Ridley Scott’s first stab at the franchise since his 1979 original, and he seems to have forgotten what made it so great the first time around. Brooding silence, creeping tension, a fear of the unknown, and – crucially – its simplicity. Instead, Prometheus is a bloated, plodding, confused mess for the most part.

As is customary for the franchise, it’s female lead Noomi Rapace who has all of the smarts and guile when things go south. She’s no Ripley, hero of the first four Alien films, but she does at least have some defining characteristics, and stars in perhaps the only genuinely stand-out scene of the film; a gruesome counterpoint to Alien’s chestburster sequence. The rest of the characters are far less interesting, particularly Michael Fassbender’s blandroid David.

There are some nice easter eggs to look out for if you’re a longstanding fan of the series, but if you’re somehow new to the universe, you can go right ahead and skip straight to Alien.

Rating (out of 5):

2 Stars

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