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Prom Night - A review of Prometheus

Updated on June 18, 2012


Charlize Theron and Idris Elba star in Prometheus, the Ridley Scott prequel to the science fiction thriller, Alien.
Charlize Theron and Idris Elba star in Prometheus, the Ridley Scott prequel to the science fiction thriller, Alien.

As a prequel, Prometheus shows us events that lead up to the mission we first saw in Alien. Ridley Scott's revisit is long overdue.

Prometheus is that summer prequel that everyone awaits with baited breath. It breezes into theaters and takes your breath away, and then you leave the theater letting wonder give rise to what you just witnessed.

Noomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) stars as Elizabeth Shaw, a scientist who makes a discovery on Earth and must take to the stars to discover the meaning behind it. Not all the answers are what anyone expects.

She’s on the trip with other explorers from the Wayland Corporation (the company that dispatches the Nostromo to the same planet LV-255) and the queen of the voyage is played, aptly, by Charlize Theron who ably plays another questionable queen in this summer’s “Snow White and the Huntsman”.

I think I only need to mention that this is the prequel to the blockbuster “Alien” for you to be able to guess what will start happening to the crew. Oh, suck up and deal with it. I’m not giving anything away here.

This is Ridley Scott’s first revisit since he directed the original movie for release in 1979 (was it really 33 years ago? Holy cow! Where did the time go?) Since then, we’ve seen an action adventure installment (Aliens) and several less than riveting sci-fi-noir sequels and even a couple Alien/Predator parings. I wouldn’t write home about almost any of them – with the possible exception of Aliens.

And it’s hard to imagine an Alien-related movie without an android. Here we’re introduced to David (Michael Fassbender) whose entire mannerisms harken us back to the glory days of questionable robot behavior as epitomized by 2001’s Hal.

David is absolutely the heart of this movie, for without his behavior, none of the events that take place would have occurred and, frankly, this would have been a ho-hum movie.

Bring plenty of suspension of disbelief. The scene where Elizabeth excises the growing Alien embryo from her body will leave you cringing to understand how anyone could endure the agony she puts herself through.

But as in all of the Alien movies that came before, there are characters with questionable ethics and behaviors, and even more questionable motives. We are thrust into this world that came before and wonder if there is a world to come.

Some scenes such as the opening one bear little necessity to the complexity of the story. In fact, they perhaps explain more than we need to know at the outset. Yet when reviewed in the greater scheme, we find that Ridley Scott is a visionary. And every scene plays its part in the telling of his tale.

Hopefully, though, we won’t have to wait another thirty years for him to direct another installment. I give Prometheus 4 out of 5 stars.


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