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.

Follow Josh:
By Josh Wilding - 6/2/2012

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.




STARRING:

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)


DISCLAIMER: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under "safe harbor" provisions and will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. For expeditious removal, contact us HERE.
8
LIKE!
84 Comments
1 2 3
juliochapulin - 6/2/2012, 12:11 PM
i smell Oscar Nomination for Michael Fassbender
Helena - 6/2/2012, 12:15 PM
It's not intelligent. It asks interesting questions but avoids answering all of them. Typical Lindelof bollocks like he pulled on Lost.

Fassbender was trully amazing, though, and I must agree on the spectacle. 4 out of 5, tops.

longbowhunter - 6/2/2012, 12:17 PM
I think I'll go see it tomorrow.
95 - 6/2/2012, 12:25 PM
Going to see it next Friday for sure.
TheMyth - 6/2/2012, 12:25 PM
Nice! Can't wait to see it. I gotta take my daughter to see SWatH first so I'll prob catch this it's 2nd or 3rd week... but I will catch it! Looking forward to your Spidey review now ;)
PitchPerfect - 6/2/2012, 12:32 PM
Josh, so do they explain why the touch screen displays on the Prometheus are more advanced looking than the DOS screen cathode ray tubed monitors on the Nostromo? If they didn't then that makes it a far from perfect vision of that universe for me.You have to retcon the technology to some extent if you're going back to an early time in the stories and that worlds history. The JJ Abrams Star Trek didn't bother to do it and it was a fun movie, but the tech and sets bugged the hell out of me.
HeyVanity - 6/2/2012, 12:34 PM
Can't wait!
Aeyan - 6/2/2012, 12:37 PM
SOLD!!!
GreyChaos13Zero - 6/2/2012, 12:46 PM
yea, great review?)

R3dRUM - 6/2/2012, 12:46 PM
Great movie, people just have to stop hoping for a full on 'alien' as we know it in this movie... its a whole NEW story

Btw anyone confused with the ending should think about the name of the 'moon' that this and Alien is set on ;-)
SebHope - 6/2/2012, 12:47 PM
@Goomba actually when done properly 3D can add alot to a film, Avatar and hugo both were had something visually amazing you rarely see, but in 2D they were just fairly good. Alot of people are also interested in wheather they should see a film in 2D or 3D especially when theyve been filmed in the format like prometheus.
Fogs - 6/2/2012, 12:48 PM
Great!

And idris Elba is doomed to stay on the bridge, ha! Got it? Huh?

No good?

Ok.
INSTANTJUSTICE - 6/2/2012, 1:10 PM
Near perfect film?


I'm not sure how anyone can come to this conclusion after seeing the film but audiences in the US are in for a surprise when they realise how mediocre it is and I'm not a massive Alien fan either and didn't care if there was that much of a connection other than the Space Jockey.


The first half of the film is really badly written and directed which really surprised me and way too talky.
INSTANTJUSTICE - 6/2/2012, 1:12 PM
The lack of good character work, tension and drama with some bad acting reminded me of Lucas. It does revover somewhat in the second half but it's really just going by the numbers for most of it with a few stand-out moments but they're few and far between.
kingshnake - 6/2/2012, 1:12 PM
@Goomba

We have already far surpassed the levels of tech seen on the Nostromo, so if anything the problem is a lack of foresight in Alien. Obviously I don't blame Ridley Scott or anyone else for this, nothing could have been done about it.

So unless you want a modern remake of Alien directed by McG, STOP WHINGEING!
Helena - 6/2/2012, 1:13 PM
@Fogs He is pretty bad luck for bridges, too.
angus666 - 6/2/2012, 1:18 PM
IGN gave it a 7/10.
kingshnake - 6/2/2012, 1:20 PM
Everyone raves about Fassbender, because he is the hot new thing. It is fashionable to praise him, it is just a trend. After him it will be someone else.

Don't get me wrong, I do like him as an actor, and he is by all means a very good actor. But in this movie all he had to do was keep a straight face and read out his lines. (And score a sweet hoop.)

But to say he is the only shing light of Prometheus, or a shining light at all in Prometheus is childish.
INSTANTJUSTICE - 6/2/2012, 1:21 PM
To be honest for all of Avengers trashiness, it's a better directed, acted and written narrative than Prometheus. They are both b-films at heart but Avengers is a better crafted narrative. Prometheus is more a b-film than the original Alien and that's saying something, it should also have cut the amount of characters in half cos it has no time to serve anyone and there's such bad pacing that it never settles into a comfortable rhythm.

The best parts are when David is alone exploring and the stuff with the Space Jockey and there's no dialogue in those scenes, that's when it's real cinema, otherwise it's full of pseudo-philosophical-waffle delivered woodenly.

Something just doesn't ring true about Josh's review, it sounds overcompensating and soulless.
kingshnake - 6/2/2012, 1:24 PM
Forget about the 5 stars thing, to class every movie ever made into 5 categories is not realistic. By that reasoning Alvin and the Chipmunks 2:The Squeakwel is like 1/5 as good as the Godfather.

In reality, saying a movie is 5 stars means it is in the top 20% of all movies.
INSTANTJUSTICE - 6/2/2012, 1:24 PM
Rapace, Theron, Fassbender & Elba are all great -everyone else really has no role to play other than providing enough kills to fill the running time- but only for them being such good actors the script really doesn't serve their talents well and this is as much a fault of Scott's as it is Lindelof's.
Helena - 6/2/2012, 1:29 PM
@INSTANTJUSTICE I disagree with most of what you said about the directing here and Avengers but:

The best parts are when David is alone exploring and the stuff with the Space Jockey and there's no dialogue in those scenes, that's when it's real cinema, otherwise it's full of pseudo-philosophical-waffle delivered woodenly.

100% agreed. And I hated how all the information you have on the engineers and everything else that is happening comes from assumptions of characters who have no reason to assume them in the first place. Damn you to hell, Lindelof.
INSTANTJUSTICE - 6/2/2012, 1:30 PM
It's worth seeing but leave any baggage before going in. Fortunately, I appreciate the first Alien but have no baggage as concerns continuity or expecting something magical. I jst wanted to see a well directed and written film. It's not a bad film per se but it's not a good one either. The visuals in the temple and all the Space Jockey stuff are worth seeing.
INSTANTJUSTICE - 6/2/2012, 1:34 PM
I really think the way the acting, pace and editing of a lot of Prometheus is badly directed. The shot composition and all look fine and are well rendered but the way the film is put together structurally and the pacing is sloppy and that really is bad direction.

The first act should've been binned completely and reconstruted with half of its contents gone.
95 - 6/2/2012, 1:35 PM
@Goomba

There is a difference between a stereoscopic projected feature and one that is, for lack of a better word, "monoscopic". For one, you're getting different perspective fed to each eye. Therefore, the depth of the image is being forced upon you (supposedly to your benefit = increased immersion) - rather than using your brain to naturally understand and recognize depth through depth cues (shading, occlusion etc.). It becomes an aesthetic of the motion picture (whether you see it as a niche or gimmick is up to you).
Helena - 6/2/2012, 1:38 PM
The hype was ridiculous and after that first scene it's impossible not to be even more excited. I'm just glad I didn't have pay to watch my screening of it, I'd be even angrier.

Btw, am I the only one that kept thinking where do I know that Asian guy from until I realized he was Prime from IT Crowd?
DoomXfactor - 6/2/2012, 1:41 PM
@Ajax2-
Supes17 - 6/2/2012, 1:43 PM
I liked it..
4/5 for me
Supes17 - 6/2/2012, 1:43 PM
Fassbender is a terrific actor
WolvieCBM - 6/2/2012, 1:50 PM
Nice! NEXT WEEK!!
AlexDeLarge87 - 6/2/2012, 1:52 PM
High hopes :)

Going to see it tomorrow.
DoomXfactor - 6/2/2012, 1:53 PM
Fassbender and Idris Elba should be in every [frick]ing movie
AlexDeLarge87 - 6/2/2012, 1:53 PM
SirWinsalot@ Not a bad choice.
Danbojohnj - 6/2/2012, 1:58 PM
Great film.Not a monster horror like Alien or an action fest like Aliens.If you like quiet sci-fi you will love it,subtle and curious and looks truly amazing in parts. 4/5
INSTANTJUSTICE - 6/2/2012, 2:15 PM
"Quiet Scifi", I wish, hardly anyone stops talking throughout the first half.
AlienRobotZombieOverlord - 6/2/2012, 2:16 PM
@Goomba - I beg to differ. I think the bar for 5-star movies is too high. For me, 5-stars doesn't mean "perfect" (that's a mark that's impossible to hit), it means "essential." That's a lot lower bar to hit and it makes all five stars practical for rating movies. Five stars = essential, fourstars = recommended, three stars = worthwhile, two stars = tolerable, one star = epic fail.
Danbojohnj - 6/2/2012, 2:21 PM
As opposed to ID4 or Starwars...I don't really class Alien as SciFi,its more a horror that just happens to be on a space ship where as Pro is straight up Scifi. I can see how its a marmite film for some though.
Dumbest scientists ever though.
INSTANTJUSTICE - 6/2/2012, 2:23 PM
It's only marmite for me bacuse of its clumsiness, the ideas are pure fantasy and I like it like that but the execution is dumb.
marvelmark - 6/2/2012, 2:25 PM
5 stars???? areyou [frick]ing real?
thi is a 3 star at the most, and only because of the visual aspect of the movie, the plot is weak, 'characters' are paper thin, dialogue is poor, and most of the characters actions have no concequnces in the movie. it's really not very good overall.
Danbojohnj - 6/2/2012, 2:37 PM
Well I liked it anyways,sure not perfect but a solid 4/5 ,its an improvement over Alien 3+4 and the AVP films.
1 2 3

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.