Reviewed: Prometheus (2012, Ridley Scott)

prometheus-2012-movie-poster

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall and Benedict Wong

Release Date: 8th June 2012

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Returning to a franchise he helped create some 33 year previous, director Ridley Scott can be not faulted for the visionary style he implements into this science fiction thriller. However, with a plot that attempts to do too much, ‘Prometheus’ is not the return to form for the franchise that so many cinema goers willed it to be. Unafraid to pose big questions, and with some aspects of the plot left  to allow audience interpretation, ‘Prometheus’ is a beautifully rendered film that has some outstanding character performances throughout. For all its filmmaking quality however, ‘prometheus’ to bare its own narrative weight – instead becoming a convoluted mess of symbolism and talking points.

A chilling science fiction horror – when it works – ‘Prometheus’ is a welcome return to the cinematic landscape of the Alien franchise. With a welcome return of the ‘Weyland’ corporation and other key aspects of this shared universe, ‘Prometheus’ feels very much apart of what’s come before. These components are noticeable to fans of the original, but never feels forced – formulating into what could have easily have become a brilliant and broad sequel of shared ideas and creature designs.

The main issue with regard the plot of this picture, is that in attempting to please casual film watchers and the more true Alien fanbase equally, Scott struggles to maintain a clarity in the films proceedings. This formulates into a struggling concept that never truly develops into the standard of the original and is therefore consistently left wanting. By attempting to deliver too much to its audience, ‘Prometheus’ has difficulties in holding any form of relevance to the wider cinematic sphere, with the connections feeling loose throughout – even with Scotts forceful nature to make them fit.

When the film becomes survival horror, a staple of the film series, ‘Prometheus’ feels free of its confines and delivers the results with an impeccable aesthetic vision. However, these moments are used too fewer times to really hold any purpose, with instead the characters on show deciding to do ill fated – and incredibly stupid – reactions to whats occurring around them. Also some actors are entirely forgotten (Benedict Wong?) within the complicated plot and this only serves in disjointing the production further.

Noomi Rapace (as lead character Shaw) is an odd choice to lead a film that returns to such an iconic piece of cinema. With roles in her native Sweden, her rise to a Hollywood lead is adequate enough to hold viewer attention and assured enough to captivate within her onscreen exploits. A homage to Sigourney Weaver powerful female characters of the past, her role seems a perfect fit for the franchise. With Charlize Theron (expedition lead) and Idris Elba (ship captain), ‘Prometheus’ is given a star powered credibility within its casting. Guy Pearce however is simply miscast. Under immense amounts of prosthetics, his inclusion into the film is disjointed to the quality that surrounds him, resulting in an odd feeling of disconnect between his character and the narrative. The films MVP is Michael Fassbender (as android David), a character so well developed that the entire films mystery revolves around his actions. Holding audience attention from his very first sequence, Fassbender highlights his Hollywood capabilities in every scene he features. A homage to Scott’s other android characters, Fassbender acts in a mechanical manner which divulges his lack of humanity in the decision he makes throughout the narrative.

Aesthetically similar to the other ‘Alien’ films, ‘Prometheus’ – in places – seems to have aged poorly. With moments of quality found within, such as the otherworldly landscapes shot to perfection, this science fiction film does a lot right. With a convoluted plot-line and miscast character, the film also does a lot that feels misjudged. It is obvious that Ridley Scott feels comfortable in creating films in the science fiction genre, however comfort does not always breed perfection.

Plot – 3

Acting – 3

Direction – 4

Retrospect – 3.5

Overal – 3.5

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