Gerald Wright's Movie Coverage
(in IMAX 3D)
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Running time: 124 min.
Release date: June 8, 2012
Genre: Drama, Action, Horror and Sci-Fi
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: R
In a state of intense anticipation of a film labeled as a prequel to Alien, the landmark film of science fiction and horror, Prometheus is in theory such a film. Filmmaker Ridley Scott returns with this movie to an eagerly awaiting audience as a stylishly malevolent alternative to his Oscar winning 1979 masterpiece Alien.
The basic storyline is nothing new, as we see a team of scientists voyaging through the universe in their spacecraft "Prometheus." They are awakened from hypersleep to investigate alien life forms. The team of scientists become stranded on an alien world, and as they struggle to survive, it becomes clear that the horrors they experience are not just a threat to themselves, but to all of mankind. This plot is quite familiar and resembles Alien's plot where their team investigates a signal that turns out to be a warning, and not an SOS.
Swedish actress Noomi Rapace of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest in 2009 plays the lead character Elizabeth Shaw along with German born and Irish raised Michael Fassbender of Jane Eyre (2011), X-Men: First Class (2011) and Shame (2011) as David. With an all-star cast of Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce and Patrick Wilson, the buzz of this movie becomes more than its actual showing. As I was watching the space crew explore a derelict spacecraft (quite similar to the one in Alien) the pacing builds tension. The characterization is for the most part creative, leaving the performances engaging enough for a 2 hour film. Perhaps, all the best creative ideas shown in this movie have been done before, but the performances are very dramatic and effective.
As the plot progresses into an hour of running time, Prometheus seems to run out of steam. The film relies on many subplots and twists to involve its audience to pay strict attention, as it brings in actors Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland and Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers his daughter. Michael Fassbender's character David is constantly evil from the start. There is good rivalry and tension between Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron's characters to add certain suspense to this stimulating plot.
Yet, Prometheus is not in the same category as Alien. At best, the functional dialogue and performances by these great actors are minimized by a limited script. Making a plot complicated in nature does not guarantee that it will be thought provoking. This is what filmmaker Ridley Scott attempts to do when it is evident that he has run out of gas. While introducing a human body as an alien host, body snatching and scary space creatures are not as interesting as they were in previous horror/science fiction films. Overall, the basic elements to make this a great film was placed in the movie. However, Prometheus just did not deliver.
I had high expectations for this movie and I allowed myself to be lured into the hype of the trailers. Unfortunately, I found Prometheus to be a slight disappointment except for the cinematic imagery.
FILM RATING (C+)