MFR Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Is it a prequel? Isn’t it a prequel? Frankly, it doesn’t really matter. Prometheus stands up as its own movie while clearly existing in the same universe as its mother, Alien. It takes on some of the same concepts and throws in a load of its own ideas to explore and have fun with. It quite simply works as a very good piece of ideas-driven sci-fi, which looks stunning and plays out not without fault, but always with boldness and style.
There’s little reason to give much away as it’s the kind of film you need to explore for yourself. Set at the end of the 21st century, Prometheus deals with the small themes of man’s quest to explore and understand our creation. Boasting a cast oozing with talent (Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba to name a few), Prometheus opens with a beautiful, brilliant sequence of a human-like alien arriving on earth. As we get to grips with the world in the first 30-40 minutes of the film it feels really fantastic and although the level of intensity and intrigue isn’t maintained entirely, for a large proportion of the film if it doesn’t look breathtaking, it feels gripping, often chilling. Ridley Scott really does take the best from what made the first Alien film so good whilst also expanding and creating such a vast, imaginative world which is still made to feel horribly claustrophobic and unknown.
Alright, so its themes may be massive but admittedly there’s nothing hugely groundbreaking about Prometheus. It takes very clear influence from its own predecessors in the series, particularly Alien while also reminding me quite a bit of something like Danny Boyle’s Sunshine (which no doubt was influenced by Alien itself). It just proves once more that there is no need to go down to the lowest common denominator to make a cracking sci-fi blockbuster. Ambitious and chilling, and I’m already anticipating a sequel.
Prometheus is out now in the UK and out on June 8th in the US. Running time 124 mins. Certificate 15 (UK).
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Review by David Rank