“Prometheus, are you seeing this?”
(This post does not contain spoilers.)
Prometheus, can you tell me what just happened?
If there’s one thing an alien movie takes pride in, it’s the disgusting, sticky, abundant goo that seems to ooze from thin air (or whatever atmosphere the action happens to take place in, depending on the planet) and glob all over everyone and everything by film’s end. This alien movie is no exception. Providing more thought-provoking questions than scares (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), Prometheus will leave audiences’ minds in a similar state to its oh-so-beloved puddles of goo.
With director Ridley Scott once again returning to the world of aliens, the film begins aboard a spaceship (named Prometheus after the Greek god who created the human race from clay) as it finishes its two year journey to moon LV-223. Archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) have discovered what they believe are maps to a distant planet inhabited by ‘Engineers’, the species that preceded and created mankind. Monitored by the fastidious, shoulder-shuttering creepy android David (Michael Fassbender), Prometheus arrives on a barren moon next to deserted tombs housing the corpses of the now-extinct Engineer species.
It’s clear that many conflicting agendas are about to collide. Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), the ship’s woman-on-a-mission captain who is somehow more robotic than David, makes it clear that she is in control of the mission and everyone involved, including Shaw and Holloway. Meanwhile, David, who is more humanlike than the crew suspects, is determined to impress his personal creator and funder of the mission, Peter Weyland.
Fassbender’s impenetrable, oiled-to-perfection David makes him the most compelling part of the film, and the hardest part to figure out. Amid the fascinating special effects and aliens tearing humans apart, Fassbender somehow manages to win the screen simply by hissing a few lines and giving an equally robotic and smarmy grin, before marching off to do Prometheus knows what. Weyland may have done a better job replicating a human being than he thought, because despite claiming he felt no emotion, David hinted at a subtle yet dangerous dislike of Wickers and Holloway, and a predator-like interest in Shaw.
It takes until around the second third to reach the aliens-attack-humans-in-creatively-disturbing-ways part of the film, and from that point on the film grabs your attention and involuntary screams with the force of a genetically enhanced python. Scott relies heavily on suspenseful moments built up to sudden jumps to deliver many thrills. The numerous grotesque extraterrestrials and human mutations may not be cinematic revolutions by way of design, but certainly don’t detract from the film. The creepiest is probably Engineers; seven foot tall humans with dark veins exaggerated against their milk white skin, pitch black orbs for eyes, and muscles that lie somewhere between Michael Phelps and the Hulk on the density scale.
It’s impossible to talk about the best parts of the film without spoiling it, but I will say that my personal favorite part was the ending, after the action died down and the surviving character(s) was/were left to deal with the aftermath. While possibly shedding some light on its kinda-sorta sibling, the Alien franchise, the ending leaves the viewer to figure out the story and the greater message themselves, which I’ve always loved in a movie. For those who have seen the movie and still have no clue what happened (there’s no shame in that), you can find an excellent analysis/discussion here: http://screenrant.com/prometheus-alien-connection-benk-176223/all/1/
Much like an alien stalking its prey, Prometheus snuck up to become what will inevitably be one of the best movies of the summer. Scott does not disappoint his bloodthirsty Alien fan base nor sci-fi fans with this creepy, piercing flick. For a movie about aliens, Prometheus shows a morose understanding about humane society, and feeds off its weaknesses. A film as intelligent and baffling as it is delectable to watch.