DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott
May Contain Spoilers!
Prometheus is the long-awaited prequel to Alien (1979) and the only other film of the franchise to be directed by Ridley Scott. Expectations were high among fans of the franchise and particularly Scott’s opening movie, Alien. But for me, as a more casual viewer of the series, I was just hoping that it WASN’T going to be a retread of the original, instead offering something which would evoke the stronger elements of that classic. In short, my expectations were low, not being a fan of the series in the first place.
It was these low expectations which helped me to like this movie. And a movie it was, and a film it was not. It wants to be a masterpiece, as Scott and many of its fans believe that Alien was. Alien, whether I like it or not has earned its status but Prometheus presumed upon it. It had pretensions of greatness before the first frame was even shot and what we end up with is a film which should have been nothing more than another Sci-Fi actioner. Because that’s all it actually is. Its story is paper-thin and tries to be something more substantial, looking at the meaning of life whilst only dabbling with such questions. Contact (1997) takes a much more substantive look at the subject of religious faith and alien life.
The film looks great, but the music is a little off and sets the wrong tone in parts and the dialogue is pretty simple and hammy at times but only a problem if you think that you’re watching a masterpiece, because trust, me, you’re not and the story is so simple it’s almost impossible not to predict, even if you try to switch off! It’s also not very scary and not the Alien prequel which many would expect beside the obvious references, such as the Space Jockey, the crescent-shaped alien craft and the final scene…
Overall we’re watching filler to pad out a potential trilogy which would conclude, no doubt, with a direct tie-in to Alien and nothing stinks of this more than the penultimate scene in which two of the characters fly off to get themselves into even more trouble for incomprehensible and therefore contrived reasons! So, on paper this really isn’t any good. But on the screen it’s a much better watch. It is somewhat entertaining as a Sci-Fi flick and if you can ignore any pretensions for cinematic greatness then this ticks all the right boxes for some 15 rated entertainment, some shocks, though only a couple, gore and some nifty SFX sequences, not to mention the highly entertaining crash towards the end.
Scott manages to play the tension right, without being too heavy nor comedic, this is not a hard film to get into nor the dark horror film which Alien was. Enjoy for what it is and not what it wants to be and you’ll be okay. Not sure that I want to see Prometheus 2 though…