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Prometheus: Film Review

Updated on October 3, 2014

Gods Among Us.

Ridley Scott continues to prove his affinity at making sci-fi epics with Prometheus, a film centered around a small crew of scientists traveling to a planet much like our own in search of answering the most difficult questions of all: "Where do we come from? and why were we created?" Like many other of Ridley Scott's previous works, Prometheus is as much about substance as much as it is about spectacle. Unlike some films, Prometheus does a good job of balancing its visual effects and its story together. Opting to not choose one over the other. The result of this means that it doesn't end up like other recent alien flops such as Battleship (Peter Berg) and Cowboys and Aliens (Jon Favreau).

Although I expected Ridley Scott to deliver with this sci-fi thriller, I was surprised about the actors he had casted to play the parts. Noomi Rapace (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy) plays Elizabeth Shaw, a curious and determined scientist that goes to great lengths in order to answer some of mankind's toughest questions. Alongside her are co-stars Michael Fassbender (X-men: First Class) and Charlize Theron (Snow White and the Huntsman, Aeon Flux). Both Fassbender and Theron add to the dramatic and somewhat apocalyptic scenarios in the film as Fassbender plays a cold, calculating android, while Theron plays the corporate CEO of a wealthy space traveling/planet building company. Together, along with several other crew members, Prometheus creates a dysfunctional family that seems believable and watchable.

Prometheus Trailer


A Negative Space

The film does raise some questions though and (in my opinion) reveals some flaws. The biggest problem that the film seems to have is time. In many films time is compressed and audiences are able to watch films that can span over days, weeks, months and years and continue to believe in the story that is being told by the filmmaker, yet Prometheus's timeline of events in the film seems to be compressed and organized in such a way that it seems rushed or unreal. This is brought out when the crew finally lands on the planet after being in cryo sleep for two years. The events that follow include them exploring underground tunnels, losing crew members to aliens, going back and losing more crew members to aliens, and finally them trying to prevent an alien apocalypse hitting the earth. All of this occurs in the span of a couple days, yet the build-up seems like it should occur over a longer period of time. The movie almost feels as if it is a car on a speed track trying to win a race, when it should be more like a teen driver learning how to drive: fast in some parts and slow at other parts, but always unpredictable. Prometheus also ends without really satisfying any of the questions that were brought up at the beginning of the film, the main one being: Why were we created? This particularly bothers me because the entire film is centered on being able to communicate with the "engineers", yet Ridley Scott never allows us to interact with them. That trend of un-satisfaction continues when you count all the times we hear the crew asking David (Michael Fassbender) if he can interact with the engineers and understand them. Every time he answers with a yes and when he finally does try to communicate with the "engineers" all that we get from it is him ripping off David's head in a fit of anger. While I don't understand all of Ridley Scott's decisions, I think it would have added to the film to tease us with the "engineer" briefly communicating with David, rather then act like a caveman and carving a path of complete and utter destruction.

All in all, Prometheus is a film that even casual audiences will enjoy and appreciate. And if you are a fan of Ridley Scott's previous work (especially Alien) then you will enjoy what is obviously a prequel trilogy setup for more aliens to come.

Overall I give the film a 3.5/5

For more reviews on Prometheus click here. Also make sure to come back for in-depth film analysis of popular movies, as well as other articles related to filmmaking.


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    • Outbound Dan profile image

      Dan Human 5 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      Well done. After the long wait, I saw Prometheus over the weekend and I wasn't disappointed. I agree that the pacing seemed to be a little off, but it did keep me on the edge of my seat. Even though I wasn't too sure where we were going at the time, I liked where we arrived.

      It certainly sets the scene for a sequel, but sometimes I wonder if it is better to connect the dots in our own mind. That said, if Scott releases a sequel, I will surely see it.