One can walk a very fine line between having a movie be a prequel or it’s own original piece. At the same time, if you’re watching a movie you don’t want to be constantly guessing over whether or not it has any connection to the filmmaker’s previous flicks. With Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus, a lot of fans were under the impression that not only is he going back to his sci-fi roots but that the movie in question would be a prequel. Unfortunately Prometheus dazzles visually but ultimately cannot decide whether or not it wants to be part of the “Alien” universe.

Note: We understand that plenty of anticipated movie-goers have been avoiding spoilers for Prometheus so this review below is spoiler-free.

Check out our review below…

The Players:

The Plot:

Set in the year 2089, a group of explorers travel to an unknown planet hoping to find the key that will define the creation of mankind on Earth. What they hoped to discover during the journey turns into a fight for survival not only for themselves but for the rest of the human race.

 

The Good:

  • The Visual Effects: Visual effects have evolved tremendously since the first film, and in Prometheus we finally see years of hard work pay off with visual majesty. You’ll start salivating the minute the movie opens, just because of the beautiful detail that’s put into every effect shot. This was definitely a labor of love – at least for the visual effects department, they were truly passionate about their work on Prometheus and the end result is amazing. Unfortunately 3D doesn’t enhance any of these gorgeous shots too much.
  • Michael Fassbender: It’s easy to single out Michael Fassbender in the cast, but the reason why certain actors like Fassbender are so revered is because they acknowledge the craft and time it makes into creating their own unique character inside and out. They embrace and create their stellar performances. Michael Fassbender creates a truly complex character out of the android David, who surprises you from beginning to end. The movie clearly has two lead actors: Rapace and Fassbender. Where Noomi did a fine job leading the film, it was Fassbender who stands out most of all.
  • The Rest of the Cast: Everyone does a fine job, all convincing and overall engaging in each of their roles. It’s great to also see Noomi Rapace in a role in an American film where she actually has an interesting character to play. She shines as archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw, though her character’s decisions at the end of the movie are questionable.
  • The Direction: Ridley Scott and science fiction are two peas in a pod. The combination is seamless and gorgeous at the same time. He knows where to move the camera, where to lock you into the story and make really connect with the main characters. He’s one of the best in the sci-fi realm and he definitely shows it on screen.

The So-So:

  • 3D: Prometheus was shot with 3D cameras, but the filmmakers don’t always take advantage of that. Scott knows how to tell a good story behind the camera but you could tell that he doesn’t have a firm grasp of how to handle 3D. Most of the scenes look flat with the added dimension and the movie is already dimly lit so the enhanced effect disappears after a short while.
  • The Score: Marc Streitenfeld has worked on a variety of dramatic movies and has provided great scores for most of them. Unfortunately Prometheus isn’t one of them. It comes off too heroic at times and doesn’t entirely match the tone of the scenes.

The Bad:

  • The Story: We’re not going to spoil the movie for you, but we can still talk about this without giving away all of the twists. Earlier in this review it was mentioned that the story can’t decide whether or not it wants to be a prequel. It leaves a number of possibilities to intertwine itself with the Alien franchise through the big reveals of these extraterrestrial beings, but at the same time it doesn’t need to be a prequel. Frankly, the Prometheus script would have been better if Scott wasn’t so hell-bent on making this a prequel. Even if it were, it doesn’t entirely connect to the Alien universe and leaves a lot of plot holes. What needs to be explained in the story isn’t explained while unnecessary verbal exposition is said by some characters just to give the actor more screen time.

Overall:

In the end Prometheus is an effective horror sci-fi film which lacks enough story backbone to make this a bonafide masterpiece. Yes, Ridley Scott has returned to science fiction, but himself and the writers’ exuberance over different story scenarios makes Prometheus a little too jumbled up by the third act.

 

The Rating: 6.5/10

Prometheus is out in theaters this Friday, June 8th.

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