Established May 2010.

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Chris: Definitely.
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Chris: Yeah, but so what? Everybody's weird.

Film Critic for Twin Cities Live

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Movie Review: PROMETHEUS

Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce

The year is 2089 and the origins of humanity are still baffling mankind. Archeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Marshall-Green) have discovered some fascinating hieroglyphics in a cave off the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The hieroglyphics point to a star map. This same pattern/drawing has been found in numerous primitive drawings dating back thousands of years in various locations. They deem this all too eerie and are determined the drawings are meant to lead people to the stars which could unveil the answers to life’s origins. They board the vessel Prometheus which has been funded to explore this unknown world.

They wake up in 2093 as Prometheus has finally reached the new world. Shaw and Holloway are joined by other scientists as well as The Weylan Group who is financing the expedition. Meredith Vickers (Theron) is the Weylan Group representative that makes it perfectly clear that this trip is for the Weylan Group and not Shaw and Holloway. Decisions will be made by her in the best interest for the company instead of the crew or the findings. Rounding out the team is an android simply named David (Fassbender). He is made in the likeness of a human but does not contain a soul. Prometheus docks on a surface containing straight lines leading into a domed cavern. This formation suggests that a species had lived there at some point as the universe does not create straight lines in nature. What lies inside the cave proves to be exactly what they were looking for and then some. Their adventure only just begins as they unravel what is lost, hidden, and lurking in the cavern. One of the biggest pieces of discovery happens to be the head of a creature with human-like features. They bring it onboard to realize that its DNA matches human DNA. I will leave the rest of their discoveries and journey for you to unfold. This is the kind of movie that is better left knowing very little going into it.

When Prometheus was first announced by Ridley Scott, rumors went into overdrive as this was going to be the prequel to Alien. When you have a director returning to the roots of a genre that put him on the map, one can’t help want to make comparisons or try to tie it into a previous work. There is no doubt that Alien was groundbreaking and has left a legacy on the sci-fi genre. Yes, there are some parallels and similar items and themes between both movies. Do not worry if you have not seen Alien or if it has been some time. If you experience the movie as a standalone film and don’t try to make comparisons, I think you will enjoy it more.

Scott has gathered a great group of actors for his ensemble. Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender definitely stand out. Rapace is no stranger to very physical roles after her run as Lisbeth Salander in the Sweden versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. She is proving to be a very ballsy actress that can tackle a variety of genres. Fassbender is wicked as David who turns out to be more than your standard robot/android. David is very reminiscent of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Charlize Theron is as strong as ever, but I wish her character would have been fleshed out more.

Many of Ridley Scott’s movies have been hit or miss lately. Prometheus scores as a hit in my book. The dark atmosphere he has created is visually stunning and fully believable. The film was shot in 3D, and the 3D technology works wonders for this style. It completely enhances the dark tight feeling of the cavernous tunnels and the hallways of the Prometheus. I appreciate when 3D is used to enrich a story over using it as a gimmick to make more money at the box office. Men in Black 3 falls into that category. One could say that the plot is fairly simple. I don’t see a problem with that as so many sci-fi films get too heightened and caught up in the science, technology, or conspiracy part of it. In that case, the story and language gets too muddled down with big words and concepts that your average movie audience cannot wrap their brain around. Screenwriters Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof start the movie asking the question of how we got here on Earth, but turn the movie into asking what happens when you go in search of that big question. Prometheus is by no means a perfect movie. There are flaws and the very tail ending of the movie is a bit hokey. I still found myself on the edge of my seat haunted by what was all unraveling before me.

RATING: **** 1/2 (4.5 out of 5)

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  1. Gotta disagree with you here. I was so excited for this movie and felt so let down. I thought it was beautifully filmed, great in 3-D, and I liked the cast--everyone did a nice job. What bothered me were the GAPING plot holes and contradictions. I can suspend reality and go with the flow of most movies, but man, so many things were brought up and then left unresolved. I just didn't "get it". I still don't know who the "aliens" were and who created who, the DNA stuff, and what the hell happened at the end?! Weird. Fassbender's David was totally like a Hal, though, and I did kinda dig that. I heart him. :-)

    1. Gina-
      Thanks for reading! I can understand where you are coming from. I actually liked the fact that the audience didn't have all of the answers either. It puts you in the same shoes as the characters. I wonder if that was Ridley's choice. I am debating if he purposely left a lot of questions and ideas without answers. I remember you talking about your love of Fassbender. He is pretty dreamy. I still have not seen SHAME or JANE EYRE yet.