Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Prometheus (2012)

During an expedition in the year 2089, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) discovers a star map. Shaw is an archeologist. Her boyfriend, Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) shares the same profession, and he expresses genuine excitement during Elziabeth’s discovery. The star map showcases several ancient cultures, and in her mind, Elizabeth has found a welcoming “invitation.” Elizabeth and Charlie see an opportunity to find humanity’s “Engineers“, and with the help of an elderly and wealthy CEO, Charlie and Elizabeth’s dream adventure becomes a reality. Peter Weyland’s (Guy Pearce) vast fortune fuels the creation of the scientific spaceship Prometheus, and this ship will travel to moon LV-223. Here, Shaw, Holloway, and other explorers will search for the truth behind the cryptic star map. Fast forward to 2093, and Prometheus prepares to make its long awaited landing on moon LV-223. Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) quickly declares herself the leader of the exploration, and tensions begin to rise amongst certain explorers, as an android named David (Michael Fassbender) monitors the situation with a close and unsuspecting eye. Eventually, the adventure takes a dark turn for the worst, and the explorers must battle a dangerous and elusive enemy for survival.

Welcome back Ridley Scott!

In 1979, Scott delivered a timeless sci-fi classic with Alien, and he delivered a marvelous sci-fi action/thriller with Blade Runner in 1982. But Scott’s career has been pretty shaky over the years. Gladiator was his last true hit…but that was in 2000. Since then, Scott has delivered a handful of disappointments. When it comes to Kingdom Of Heaven and Body Of Lies, I will defend Scott, because I thoroughly enjoyed both films, and they’re really not as bad as the critics make them out to be. Although, Scott did direct that massive piece of shit Robin Hood, Hannibal was mediocre at best, and American Gangster was just painfully boring. But Prometheus provides Scott’s much needed triumphant return to the science fiction genre.

Prometheus is loaded with plenty of awe-inspiring visuals, and Scott did a wonderful job of providing a haunting, bleak atmosphere, filled with terror, tension, and wonder. At times, Scott could slow everything down, and give the audience a chance to catch their breath, as the mystery of LV-223 unraveled, but he could also pack a powerful punch with some pulse-pounding suspense and action. Ridley Scott can still deliver the goods, and Scott really shows his true talents behind the camera with Prometheus.

Usually, I avoid 3D films like the plague, but when it comes to Prometheus, I don’t have any regrets. The 3D effects did provide a few “oooh and ahhh” moments, but Prometheus didn’t suffer from unnecessary 3D abuse. The 3D didn’t overshadow important plot points in the storyline, and the 3D effects never reach the level of an overused flashy gimmick. Ridley Scott knew when and how to use 3D (which is surprising, because Prometheus is Scott’s first and only 3D film), and a barrage of typical 3D tricks didn’t overshadow anything here. The 3D effects for Prometheus provided an enjoyable bonus attraction, and I actually enjoyed the limited approach here.

I expected top notch acting from this one, and Prometheus’ excellent cast didn’t disappoint. The casting for this film was just great, and everyone delivered a high quality performance. Noomi Rapace was fearless, strong, intelligent, and she really nailed the Elizabeth Shaw character. Michael Fassbender was the perfect choice for David. Fassbender provided this proper and meticulous persona for the only non-human member of the crew, and Fassbender played the part of a machine to perfection, as he portrayed the emotionless and obedient android. Meredith Vickers was a nasty control freak, who refused to take a backseat to anyone, and Charlize Theron delivered the essential personality of a mean, cold-hearted bitch. Janek is the captain of Prometheus, and Idris Elba did provide a very convincing performance. Janek was a smart character, who questioned dangerous decisions, but this character did have a sense of humor. Elba and Sean Harris (Fifield) provide most of the comic relief, and both men were able to bring a few laughs to Prometheus. Guy Pearce had some help from make-up effects, but he brought life to the Peter Weyland character. This character‘s screen time is VERY limited, but Pearce was believable, as this old, stubborn man with a massive ego. Also, Logan-Marshall Green provided another solid performance as Charlie Holloway.

Finding the perfect cast can be a tricky task, but Prometheus didn’t feature any cracks in the acting department. Nobody seemed out of place here, and everyone hit a nice comfort zone with their characters, especially Micahel Fassbender.

Prometheus is a thrilling and suspenseful sci-fi adventure. The action towards the end is just great, and this film features some good tension. The 3D doesn’t suffer from unnecessary abuse, and Prometheus is loaded with some very impressive visuals. And Noomi Rapace’s gut-wrenching (no pun intended) C-section scene did provide the highlight of this film for me. It was a disgusting, bloody, and graphic moment. This cringing scene has earned a spot on my list of memorable movie moments, and Rapace’s acting made everything feel more excruciating and unbearable.

You will see Ridley Scott return to top form on the directing side of things here, and Scott proves he can still be one of the best with this film. I’m still waiting for The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises (also, I haven’t seen The Avengers yet), but Prometheus really lived up to my high expectations. The lukewarm reception from critics doesn’t bother me, because I loved Prometheus, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel.

Prometheus continues to receive a good amount of complaints from moviegoers and critics. Prometheus’ unanswered questions bothered a lot of people, because the vast majority expected a true prequel for Alien. Well, you will see some similarities to Alien here. The creatures, their acidic blood, strong female characters (Elizabeth Shaw and Meredith Vickers), and there’s a nice surprise for Alien fans at the very end. Still, Prometheus doesn’t follow the path of a traditional prequel. Again, this film features some similarities to the Alien universe, but most of the time, Prometheus feels like a stand-alone film. Although, Prometheus will give you some new material, and they were able to throw in some recognizable clues from Alien, so Prometheus actually works as a unique prequel and stand-alone film at the same time. Fans of the franchise should enjoy the tiny bits of Alien material. Newcomers won’t miss any major details, and at the same time, Prometheus could introduce them to the entire Alien film series, because this film could raise the curiosity levels of people, who are unfamiliar with the other Alien films.

Final Rating: 9/10

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