In 1979, director Ridley Scott introduced the world to one of the most iconic and terrifying creatures ever put on film in the classic sci-fi horror movie: ‘Alien.’ Part sci-fi horror and part psychological thriller, ‘Alien’ shocked audiences with its claustrophobic and slow-building tension, along with the iconic alien that is unlike anything ever created. Now after two decades of absence, the director returns to his old roots in the prequel to ‘Alien,’ ‘Prometheus.’ While the movie has its flaws that hold the film back from greatness, ‘Prometheus’ is nonetheless an exciting and tense movie that is a welcome return-to-form for Ridley Scott.
The story focuses on a group of explorers on the space vessel Prometheus traveling to an unknown planet in an attempt to discover mankind’s origins. While this movie is certainly different from ‘Alien,’ it nonetheless manages to reel in more suspense and excitement than any of the recent Alien movies have managed to do. The pacing is great, and the first half of the movie perfectly builds up the intrigue of the new planet while the second half features some truly tense and thrilling sequences. ‘Prometheus’ also looks stunning – from the incredible production designs to the remarkable visual effects and 3D.
Unfortunately, the story is much more flawed compared to the superb production designs. The story attempts to raise questions on mankind’s origins, but while this certainly does add a level of mystery and intrigue to the movie, this is also one the major problems with it. ‘Prometheus’ intentionally leaves many answers ambiguous, but it also relies too much on having a sequel answer those questions in the future. There are also some plot holes in the story, one of which is especially jarring for those who have seen ‘Alien,’ and some of the characters feel either underdeveloped or expendable.
While there are problems with the movie, there are some great aspects to its story. While most of the characters are flat, the fastidious and enigmatic android David played by Michael Fassbender is a fascinating and intriguing character that easily outclasses everyone in the movie. There are also plenty of tense moments to be found in the story of ‘Prometheus,’ and one scene in particular is an especially nerve-wracking moment that in ways matches the tense thrills of ‘Alien.’ Even the mystery behind the origins of mankind – as unresolved as it may be – is nevertheless intriguing and can be very interesting at times.
It’s hard to talk about the movie without spoiling any of the major moments, but what can be said about ‘Prometheus’ is that while it is certainly flawed at times, it’s an exciting movie that is filled with suspense and intrigue – a rare combination in sci-fi and horror movies today. The plot holes are problematic, but everything else is great. It’s not the revolutionary twist on the sci-fi genre that ‘Alien’ was when it first released, but ‘Prometheus’ is still a tense movie bolstered by superb production designs and great performances, and hopefully the filmmakers will be able to expand on the mythology in the inevitable sequel.
Rating: 7/10 (Good)