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Did Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" live up to its "Alien" sequels?

 

Ridley Scott is best known for his work in directing and producing movies like Alien, Gladiator, and Robin Hood, so when Prometheus was finally announced with Scott’s name attached to it, many movie goers began to take interest. With ambiguous trailers that felt more like teasers than actual trailers, it began to set the stage for itself as one of the most mysterious yet anticipated movies of this year thus far. Further, when it was announced to be both the sequel to Scott’s “Blade Runner” AND the prequel to “Alien,” its popularity grew exponentially, even before its big debut on June 8th. Was all the hype necessary, though? And did it really hold up to sci-fi fans’ expectations? Although many would disagree, I myself think that it was worth the excitement.

“Prometheus” takes place in the future, roughly a hundred years from now, and follows the crew of the starship “Prometheus” as they investigate another planet in the hopes to find the genesis of mankind. Scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green, Devil) lead the expedition after finding a map to the planet on an archeological dig in Scotland. Meanwhile, the captain of the ship, Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron, Hancock) and an attentive cyborg, David (Michael Fassbender, X-Men First Class) appear to have a hidden agenda and trouble quickly ensues.

The scientists and engineers on the ship must combat violent weather, hostile life-forms, and what appears to be some sort of mutagenic biological weapon if they are to get off the planet alive, but not without answering the age-old question of “where did we come from?”

If you plan to walk into a violent, gory, action/sci-fi flick, then this movie isn’t for you. The film takes a bit of time to get off the ground and has a quite serious tone. When it finally does get rolling, however, I found myself pleasantly surprised by the action sequences. Think of this movie, if you will, as a drum-roll. Scott took his time allowing the characters and story to develop so that, by the end, the audience was left at the edge of their seats.

After seeing this movie and reading many reviews, it appears to have drawn the short straw. Many critics refused to see the suspenseful lead-up as what Scott intended it to be, and rather as a dry film. Even the star of the Madea movies, Tyler Perry, gave “Prometheus” a bad rap, saying that not only could he make a better science fiction movie, but that he is making a better one. Madea goes to space, perhaps? I hope not.

The fact of the matter is, as Fassbender’s character, David, says: “Big things have small beginnings.” The “Alien” franchise is huge, and to expect the same from the prequel is simply not fair. In order to get to where the Alien movies are, Scott had to start somewhere, and, not only did he do it well, but he chose a perfect cast. Rapace’s performance as the British archeologist was absolutely amazing, as well as her co-stars. She spent months in vocal therapy in order to achieve the British accent from her native Swedish dialect, and her hard work paid off.

Scott has done it again. He’s taken what many have said to be a “poor script” and turned it into cinematic gold. Walking out of the theater feeling like an hour has gone by and knowing it’s been two is the sign of an excellent film, and I experienced it here. This movie is definitely worth the time and money.

This film was rated R for sci-fi violence (a large alien fight scene), intense images (dead bodies, mutated humans, and a scene involving a Cesarean Section), and brief language (scattered profanity, including one use of the “F-word.”)

Ben Asper

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