Prometheus, review ★★★★☆

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Prometheus is one of this year’s big pre-summer blockbusters and upon entering the cinema I was ready to be wowed. The film has some solid foundations – it has been labelled as an ‘almost’ prequel to Hollywood classic horror Alien (1979), retaining original director Ridley Scott and a $120-130 million budget.

Following in the footsteps of the ancient Greek Prometheus, the name-sake spaceship sets off in a search for the creator of man. Directed by some old cave paintings, towards a distant planet in search of answers, the crew are sorely disappointed by the gooey death they find instead.

The characters were a bit of a horror film cliché; there was the token black guy, the token bitch, the token scared jittery guy who’s always the first to be eaten and so on, but beyond this the story was very engaging. Ridley Scott has done wonders with the budget (which was over 10 times that of the original Alien) and has allowed the film to spread itself out and bask in a multitude of CGI. The landscape of the mysterious planet is breathtaking and Scott adds grandeur to Prometheus, a brave contrast to the claustrophobic ship in Alien. 3D is a topic that often creates a divide among film lovers, but if there was ever a film to see in 3D, or at least in IMAX, this is it. The pan scenes are cinematic and beautiful, whilst the CGI robotics and holograms look fantastic in 3D and really jump out at the audience.

Scenes like this are best seen in 3D

For lovers of the original Alien films, I’m happy to report that the alien world is just as full of H. R. Giger inspired art and a lot of the phallic and downright weird design concepts as it always was. Ridley Scott drafted him in to help with the aesthetics, and the main control room especially could easily be mistaken for a Giger painting!

But what about the aliens? Will you still be able to turn the light off at night? Well, yes. There are several types of alien in this film; there’s your classic ‘penis head’ alien you all know and love, there’s a new species of giant man which look a bit like Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen, there’s an alien that possesses you and gives you superpowers and then there’ is a giant octopus whose origins still have me a little confused. Unfortunately none of these are actually very scary and quite mind-boggling.

A lot of critics have talked about Michael Fassbender (who also played Magneto in X-Men: First Class) stealing the show with his performance as android trickster ‘David’ and he was exceptionally good, but I think Charlize Theron’s performance as evil corporate bitch Meredith Vickers was easily on par with him.

Overall, the film was incredible and I don’t think anyone left the cinema that wasn’t wowed, but at the same time I feel it would have had the same effect with the sound off: It was 95% a visual spectacle. It’s definitely worth a look in and you certainly get your money’s worth.

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  1. avatar
    Andrew J Ovenden on

    Michael Fassbender is arguably the best British (I refuse to accept him as European) actor around at the moment. His performance in Shame is sublime.
    I think it’s fair to say that Prometheus isn’t really the sci-fi horror film it had been hyped up to be. Rather, it’s a philosophical journey. The suggestions Scott makes about the origins of man seem wholly feasible. It’s quite enlightening in that sense.

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