Josh Wilding Reviews: PROMETHEUS 3D
Ridley Scott makes his highly anticipated return to the science fiction genre with Prometheus, but does the
prequel film really live up to the hype? Find out here in this in-depth and spoiler-free review.
It's very rare that you see a film which is as near-perfect as Prometheus. Admittedly, it isn't without its flaws, but it's not hard to forgive these when the overall package is so absolutely amazing. While a fair bit has admittedly been given away in the trailers and TV spots, those snippets thankfully barely scratch the surface of what is actually contained within Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof's fantastic screenplay. For that exact reason, it is difficult to go into too much detail in regards to the story without spoiling the many surprising twists and turns. As you may have guessed, a lot of the actors are only there to fill out the crew until they're dispatched in one way or another, but that matters very little when this is handled in a far less formulaic and interesting way than in the other four films set in this universe. As you can now see, Alien comparisons are inevitable, and anyone who considers that to be one of the greatest science fiction movies ever made might just end up going in with expectations so high that they'll leave the cinema disappointed. More fool them. Yes, there are connections between the two (as well as similarities in terms of the format and concept) but this is a film which deserves to be judged on its own merits, not constantly compared to a film released over 30 years ago. The premise may be a familiar one to fans of the franchise, but it is the material which sits between a few familiar plot beats that elevates Prometheus from similar sci-fi fare. With cracking dialogue, interesting characters and breathtaking spectacle, there's very few areas where it ever truly falters.
Michael Fassbender (David) steals the show, and this wonderfully creepy and hypnotising performance is arguably one of the best of his career. There are so many layers to the character, and the actor manages to add more and more with even the most minor of mannerisms. Noomi Rapace (Elizabeth Shaw) makes for an impressive leading lady, bringing an awful lot more to her performance here than she did in her forgettable role in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. The actress is given a lot to do and capably takes Shaw through a dizzying array of scenarios. Idris Elba (Janek) is fantastic, and despite it appearing as if his role wouldn't extend any further than standing around on the bridge of the Prometheus, he ends up getting a fair bit to do all in all. Logan Marshall-Green (Charlie Holloway) doesn't exactly get chance to shine being surrounded by actors of Fassbender and Elba's calibre, but he's a charismatic enough actor and one can only hope this opens a few more doors for him. Sean Harris (Fifield) and Rafe Spall (Millburn) meanwhile have great chemistry and are all the more memorable thanks to them being involved in one of the films most memorable sequences. If anyone ends up feeling out of place, it's the usually reliable Charlize Theron (Meredith Vickers). Vickers is your typical evil corporation type, and even a last minute revelation fails to make her any less two dimensional. Regardless, it's still a solid enough performance and like most of the main cast members, she gets a few moments to shine. The cast is filled out with some great supporting actors, and even while the likes of Patrick Wilson (Shaw's Father) and Guy Pearce (Peter Weyland) have little to do, it speaks of the quality of Prometheus that even the most minor of characters are played by such a wealth of talent.
Visually, Prometheus is spectacular. The real-life Earth locations at the beginning of the film are beautiful and the landscape of the fictional LV-223 also impresses. The Prometheus itself is a stunning creation and the various otherworldly "creatures" all amaze. The reason for the use of such a vague term will become clear when you see the film, mainly because there's an awful lot more here than expected. Regardless of whether it's the impressive sets or the visual effects, there's not a single flaw in this department and it's a real treat to see this paired with such a strong story. Prometheus was filmed in 3D, and while director Ridley Scott never really takes much advantage of the format, it still enhances the overall experience a great deal. It's unobtrusive, not in the least bit distracting and a great use of 3D in the sense that it's actually enjoyable to look at. Unfortunately, Prometheus will more than likely fall flat for some. There's not a huge amount of action, gore or explosions, but this is Ridley Scott we're talking about, not Michael Bay or Peter Berg. It's important to understand that while the film DOES deliver on all of the above, the story always comes first and this is a very, very clever film. Scott isn't afraid to spend time on character work (David's introduction as he explores the ship and gets on with his daily routine while the crew is in stasis is magnificent) and shoots the film beautifully. Prometheus is packed with unforgettable moments, plenty of twists and turns and a heart-stopping and exciting final act means you'll never feel dissatisfied. All of this is topped off with a rousing score. So, where does Prometheus go wrong? Well, nowhere really. A few underdeveloped characters and a handful of minor story issues are irrelevant when everything else is just so damn good. Sequel? Yes please.
Intelligent, visually stunning and miles ahead of just about everything else in the sci-fi genre, Prometheus is a must-see.
In the distant future, two superpowers control Earth and fight each other for all the solar system's natural resources. When one side dispatches a team to a distant planet to terraform it for human colonization, the team discovers an indigenous race of bio-mechanoid killers. Ridley Scott, director of 'Alien' and 'Blade Runner,' returns to the genre he helped define. With PROMETHEUS, he creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw
Michael Fassbender as David
Guy Pearce as Stannison
Idris Elba as Captain Janek
Logan Marshall-Green as Holloway
Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers
RELEASE DATE: June 1st 2012 (UK) June 8th, 2012 (US)
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