While I enjoy the first two ‘Alien’ movies, I’m no fanatic of the series. My opinion of Ridley Scott’s new quasi-prequel ‘Prometheus’ is based solely on ‘Prometheus’. For years now, geeks have speculated about how much ‘Prometheus’ will tie into ‘Alien’. There are already plenty of spoiler-filled reviews out there on the web, so if you want that answer, look elsewhere. For those who’d prefer to go in blindly, rest assured that the following review is absolutely spoiler-free.
Well, fanboys and girls, it’s finally here. Ridley Scott has finally returned not only to science fiction, but to the science fiction franchise that landed him on the map as a director. And this, a remake-ish prequel to ‘Alien‘, is the best film that he has directed in over a decade.
Although much is shown, little is spoiled in the trailers for ‘Prometheus’. The less you know, the better it will be, so I’ll only tell you the gist of what the story’s about.
‘Prometheus’ is set in the universe of ‘Alien’, but takes place nearly 30 years earlier than the first film in that franchise. Based on this detail, ‘Prometheus’ is technically a prequel, but the way that it unfolds feels very much like a remake. The setting, location and events will appease those wanting a sequel, and the formula (which somewhat resembles that of ‘Alien’) will win over audiences unfamiliar with the franchise.
When ‘Prometheus’ opened overseas last weekend, I was disappointed by the chatter of some self-proclaimed die-hard film lovers who bragged about downloading bootleg torrents before the movie even hit theaters. Fools. ‘Prometheus’ is a movie that must be seen on the biggest screen possible. The melodic opening credits sequence shows sweeping shots of a land foreign to most of us. It’s breathtaking. After this beautiful intro, we meet our central character, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), in the year 2089, as she discovers the final clue to proving the existence of extraterrestrial beings that created human life. There’s nothing that she wants more in life than to meet her maker (just not by dying).
Cut to four years later, we meet the rest of the 17-man (and woman) crew of the Weyland Corporation’s ship, Prometheus. They’ve followed the hieroglyphic clues to a distant corner of the universe. After two years of stasis, they’ve finally reached the Earth-like moon that they’ve been led to. There, Shaw and her team explore strange structures that resemble Earthly ruins.
That’s it. I’m not giving you any more plot than that.
I not only suggest that you see ‘Prometheus’ on the biggest screen possible, but that it should also be a 3D screen. I know, I know… I’ve only ever recommended seeing a couple of movies in 3D, but I urge you to fork out the extra cash to see ‘Prometheus’ this way. Ridley Scott never once uses 3D as a gimmick to make things pop out at your face. Instead, he uses it to give depth to the image. The world of ‘Prometheus’ extends beyond the screen. Scott just might be the director to use the medium best. Although the majority of the movie takes place in dark underground sets, the image is never pitch black (which typically causes 3D to lose its extra dimension). Scott manages to light those dark sets in a way that doesn’t erase the 3D, while still making the film feel dark and tense. I don’t know that I’ve ever said this about any other movie, but the 3D truly enhances this moviegoing experience and is the best way to view ‘Prometheus’.
Do yourself a favor and pick up any of the four main ‘Alien’ Blu-rays individually at Best Buy – that is, if you don’t own them already. They’re on sale for $9.99 each and all come with $10 in free Movie Cash towards ‘Prometheus’. Put that discount towards a 3D IMAX showing and you will not be disappointed. You don’t need to know the ‘Alien’ movies in order to follow this one, but the more familiar you are with them, the more fun ‘Prometheus’ will be.