My craving for a great science fiction / alien thriller was thoroughly satiated this weekend after an intense ride with director Ridley Scott aboard the spaceship Prometheus.
Scott's classic original Alien set the bar high for every alien from space film for the past three decades. As a co-owner of the Alien trilogy, I have to agree with my passionate (about the Alien films) husband that Scott’s film was undoubtedly one of the best. But to go to this movie comparing the two would be stepping into a great story on the wrong foot.
I went to the film, which we saw in 3D at an Imax theater, without expectation. So I went to enjoy the experience. And I was not disappointed.
Scott chose to weave enough information into the story that, in the end, made it clear that this is a pre-quel to Alien. But the story stands on its own as a solid premise opening the door to what we already know about the "company" and its corporate agenda from the earlier flicks.
Based on repeated similarities in discoveries around the world, two leading archaeologists convince a major corporation to fund an exploration into space to locate what they believe was the race of aliens who created humankind. The voyage tests the crew's faith in looking for their makers, reveals unacceptable truths and leads them into, what else, extreme danger. What alien flick would be complete without unusual creatures attacking to kill? Not wishing to disappoint, Scott wracked his unique tension-filled havoc which eventually takes its toll on the crew.
All of the faces on the screen are relative new-comers except for Charlize Theron who played the stone-cold face of the corporation for most of the film. Every one of the cast brought to life the unusual characters of the strange mix of crew members. From the tattooed mohawk-wearing geologist coward (Sean Harris) to the archaeologist (Logan Marshall-Green) bent on talking to his ancestors, the cast members gave stellar performances.
The story includes a human-like robot (Michael Fassbender), Scott's stamp of the Alien story, which is programmed to serve a hidden purpose. Taking on the lead role, Swedish actress Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish version), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) played the strong female who unexpectedly beats all the odds in another nod to the Alien classic heroine image.
Special effects in Prometheus were so believable that you can only be in awe of the visual aspects of the film from the beauty of landscapes to the creatures that strike fear into the heart of the audience. The imagery was a powerful part of the impact of the story.
I loved the new 3D which gives depth to the film's images. Personally, I used to hate 3D movies that never failed to turn my stomach with images jumping out towards the audience. The new technology makes it possible to give depth to the movie without overwhelming moments of nausea.
In the end, the story’s quest didn’t necessarily give answers to all the crew’s questions leaving the door open to the continued search for truth in the next stage of the journey of the Prometheus.
Overall a great sci-fi complete with scary critters that not only paid homage to the original Alien but takes viewers to a new place and a new understanding about how the story came to be. A must-see for anyone who is getting excited just reading the words sci-fi and aliens.
Gross Box office:
$51,050,101 (USA) (10 June 2012)