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Prometheus

by

Jeff Nelson

Those who are craving something that takes place in the future that's going to captivate you, as well as present you with utterly believable actors, then Prometheus is your film.

Prometheus
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Quite a bit of time has now passed since Ridley Scott has been behind the camera for a sci-fi or horror film. I'm a huge fan of the original Alien, so you can just imagine how excited I've been about the release of Prometheus. Scott has finally returned to his main genre. A lot of Ridley Scott fans were excited to hear about this return since he has been making less than mediocre flicks, such as Robin Hood. Every trailer and every piece of news that was being released on Prometheus got me to smile and become restless in my seat with joy. There are a lot of big summer blockbusters coming out this year, a lot of them being superhero flicks. While I'm looking forward to seeing motion pictures such as The Dark Knight Rises, the science fiction and horror film Prometheus is what I've been most excited about. The rumors have been continuing to go back and forth regarding whether or not Prometheus is an original story or if it would be a prequel to Alien. While this is a prequel to the original, it's a completely different picture that tells a different story, but is fused with some DNA of the original.

When scientific explorers unearth an artifact that points to the origins of humankind, they're pulled into the unexpected adventure of a lifetime. If they falter, the very future of their species is at stake. One of the things that made Alien so incredible is the screenplay. It took its sweet time to allow audiences to connect with the characters and is able to scare audiences with more than jump scares and gore. Prometheus has some similarities and some differences. Fortunately, this feature doesn't focus too much on just aliens and carnage. There's quite a bit of tension that's constantly in the background, but becomes much more part of the foreground later on. The dialogue is well-written and while not all of the characters make the smartest moves, we're presented with some characters that irritate us and others we root for and we genuinely want to survive. One difference, which may be a potential fault for some audiences, is that the movie doesn't give us quite as long with the characters as what was given to us in Alien. I personally felt that I was given enough information and background the characters to understand them and connect with them, even if on the most basic of levels. There are some subplots that are introduced, which aren't fully explored. However, this screenplay is captivating and engaging. The concept of the origins of mankind and knowing the unknown is quite interesting. Fortunately, we aren't shown the aliens very often, as the film focuses more on the story and creation, opposed to just having aliens killing off these characters. The ending leaves us hanging a little bit and while it certainly answers some questions that fans have had, it leaves us with so many new-formed questions. The final moments of this movie had me itching to know more. Despite the fact that this film runs a little over two hours long, I would have loved for it to have been longer.

While the initial reaction I had from the trailers was that this is a horror movie, it's surprisingly inaccurate. This is primarily a science fiction venture, although it has many horror elements within. Such elements are displayed through the dark and gritty tone of the movie, along with some of the brutality within. Both R and PG-13 rated versions were created of this movie. Ridley Scott fought for his cut to reach theaters, which is the R-rated version. Thankfully, this is the cut that audiences will be able to see on the big screen. Neither Alien nor Prometheus have a lot of blood and guts, although giving them a PG-13 rating wouldn't be a true vision of the story. There are only a few scenes to note that are a bit gruesome, which I will not reveal for those who are interested in finding out when they see them. However, you'll know exactly which sequences I'm talking about. The remainder of the movie just has some profanity. By removing either, the natural feeling of the movie is gone. Not to mention the fact that the most gruesome of the film's scenes is a key element to the story. Fortunately, 20th Century Fox has provided us with Ridley Scott's cut of the film. While there some noticeable issues with the screenplay, they aren't too serious. I found myself at the edge of my seat, fully captivated and immersed throughout. However, one complaint that viewers are sure to find is that this film doesn't entirely connect with the first Alien, but simply has similar concepts and ideas. While it's still technically a prequel, don't expect any references.

I'm sure that some audiences who haven't even seen Alien will check out Prometheus due to the cast. It contains Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, and Logan Marshall-Green. This is an outstanding cast and Ridley Scott utilizes them all to his full potential. There are a lot of science fiction and horror movies out there that suffer primarily from the acting department. Prometheus features some of the best acting from a film from either of these genres in quite some time. Noomi Rapace is Elisabeth Shaw, one of the two scientists who has discovered the planet that they arrive at. Most audiences should recognize Rapace from the original Swedish film series The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, who played Lisbeth Salander. Rapace is great as Shaw. She's convincing in the character. She's involved in the most gruesome sequence of the feature and her acting certainly makes the scene feel real. Michael Fassbender is David. Not many actors have nail the emotionless and calculated android as well as Fassbender does here. Anybody who has seen him act should know by now that he can absolutely own any role that he's put in. Well, the character of David is no exception. Charlize Theron is Meredith Vickers. While she hasn't received as large a role as she did in Snow White and the Huntsman, she still shines on screen. She doesn't receive as much screen time as some of the other actors, but she still does an incredible job in the scenes that she's shown in. Idris Elba is Janek, who flies the ship. He delivers a fine performance in this role. Guy Pearce has an incredibly short role here as Peter Weyland. I didn't even recognize him at first, due to the fact that he's under such an insane amount of make-up. However, he never disappoints. Logan Marshall-Green stands alongside Elizabeth Shaw as one of the scientists who discovers that there's life on this other planet. The only other movie I remember him from is Devil. He certainly shows a wider dynamic here. Those who are craving something that takes place in the future that's going to captivate you, as well as present you with utterly believable actors, then Prometheus is your film.

Ridley Scott has put a lot of effort into this film visually, as well. The majority of the blockbuster flicks being released are filmed on CGI backgrounds with almost everything being digital. However, there are consequences in doing so. There's always the risk of the effects looking too cartoonish for the atmosphere. Prometheus was also filmed in 3D, unlike many of the other features being released in this format, which are constantly being post-converted to 3D. I'm not a fan of 3D, but Prometheus has done something similar to Hugo here. Instead of the 3D being used to have gimmicky pop-outs, it's used to add depth and create an immersive atmosphere to enhance the visuals of the film. There aren't many objects that fly out of the screen towards you, but there's a lot of depth in between everything and there isn't any motion blur that I detected. One of the biggest problems that affect the 3D visuals are when the CGI back-drops are being used. Ridley Scott opted for real sets and a bunch of other practical effects. This most certainly aided the movie for the 3D visuals. The creatures aren't shown very often here, which is similar to that of Alien. Well, the times where any type of Facehugger or Xenomorph is shown, they aren't digitally added to the movie. They're also practical effects, which definitely look much better. I can only hope that more big blockbusters start to use more practical effects, because it looks so much better. I recommend checking this one out in 3D, as long as the theater you're seeing it at doesn't provide glasses that are too dark. Prometheus will still look fantastic in 2D, although the 3D adds an extra true dimension that definitely improves upon what we've seen from this technology thus far.

The wait is almost over for those who have been as excited as I have been to see Prometheus. The film will be released this Friday, June 8th, for those living in the United States. There are a lot of clips on the Internet. Try to avoid them if you can, that is if you haven't already. I avoided them like the plague since I wanted to see this with little to no knowledge of what to expect. Despite the fact that I had extremely high expectations, I finished Prometheus being very pleased with what I saw. This film isn't what audiences are used to seeing from a Hollywood feature, which is a good thing. Instead of Ridley Scott simply making a rehash of the original Alien, he created something completely different with only some small fingerprints from the original. The screenplay is solid, although it has its problems. The acting is marvelous and completely convincing. The visuals are beautiful and fans will be glad to know that Ridley Scott has put a lot of effort into both the film itself and the visuals to ensure that audiences have a great movie experience all around. Prometheus is definitely a well-made film that can be enjoyed by both Alien fans and casual moviegoers. I personally can't wait to see this again when it's released in theaters.

My Rating = Four Stars

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