When news of Ridley Scott returning to Alien hit the Internet, there was a mixture of excitement and cynicism. Could he turn around a franchise that he inadvertently created but lost its way long after his involvement ended?
In a nutshell, the plot revolves around a discovery that hints our evolution was the result of aliens. Those responsible for the discovery are part of a group aboard the spaceship Prometheus, traveling to a distant planet indicated to be the answer to their questions.
The rest I will leave for you to see for yourselves but to all intents and purposes this is a reimagining of the original movie. It shares many of the design aesthetics and plot of Alien but with the benefit of modern visual effects and an attempt to close the film in a way that purposefully deviates into a direction that ensures that any sequels do not tie into Aliens,3,etc.
Visually, the film is amazing. The world created is rich with detail and texture that compares to the original films as well as contemporaries such as JJ Abrams Star Trek. The starship Prometheus is a character in itself, feeling like a fully realised creation even if it does look like a cleaner version of Firefly’s Serenity.
The 3D is nicely done. My own preference is seeing movies that use the technology with subtlety; just enough to bring in the depth but not enough to go “gee whiz… it’s in my face!”. Prometheus could have been one to use it for a lot of cheap monster scares but avoided it nicely.
Actors such as Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron hold their ground and fill their roles well but Guy Pearce seems wasted under a kilo of makeup. Everyone else seems to be under utilised or come across as red shirts for the plot.
Ultimately, there’s some frustration when watching Prometheus; it seems the movie is wanting to forge its own path but then drags itself screaming back along the franchise line in the most obvious ways possible. By itself the movie makes for decent popcorn fare. Just try to forget about its ties to the old movies.