Titans of Science Fiction
Ridley* Scott’s prequel to Alien, Prometheus, begins as a grand quest to discover the origins of life until, inevitably, it all goes horribly,horribly wrong. [Spoilers?]
I was dubious about seeing Prometheus, but at the same time I didn’t want to miss it. In the world of fandom, especially geek fandom, we have a tendency to over play the things we love. The Aliens franchise has been around since 1979 and the first two are classic SciFi movies that have stood the test of time as an edge of the seat thriller and a high tension action movie. the rest of the movies are mostly forgettable, but I have seen all of them. When each new Alien movie is released I plunk down my shiny gold rocks and escape into a dystopian future where greed still rules, but at least we aren’t watching our kids kill each other in an arena. The great part about an Alien prequel was that they couldn’t ruin the franchise by going one movie too far, because they had already done that with AvP.
A quick review of the movie would have to include the many classic Alien tropes including the strong female lead who you know will survive, the greedy Weylan Industries rep looking for a way to make money from death, embryonic aliens bursting from unexpected places, and the insufferable android who just wants to be a real boy.
In short, it was great.
I’m not saying it is going to win any Oscars or that I need to rush out and buy the DVD, but I did enjoy the movie quite a bit. We watched it in IMax 3-D and normally I don’t notice the 3-D, but I thought it added something. I remember looking at scenes on the planet surface and it looked like there were rocks on the edge of the floor blending into the ground. There was also some great ancient Earth landscape footage at the beginning when they are telling the story of Prometheus.
After the Archeological setup to get the characters into space we come to the familiar scene of the characters in sleep chambers and we get to meet David, the prototype Android from Weylan Industries. I think one of my favorite parts of the movie was watching David entertain himself and learn new languages like a person (instead of downloading them) while everyone else slept. It was a little reminiscent of Moon and I remember thinking they could probably do an entire movie just exploring the Android character, but that isn’t really what people want to see at a SciFi horror movie. They did play the idea of Man as Creator of life (androids) along side the Man’s search for his own creator at points throughout the movie. There is a great exchange between David and Charlie in which Charlie wonders aloud why the mysterious Titan aliens created mankind. David asks him why man created him and the answer is, “Because we could.”
Once the crew reaches the planet and starts to explore we get to the real action and things progress as you would expect. The alien creatures in the movie are not the same as the chest bursting darlings we have come to know, but there is some imagery and similarities to let us know they are related. It’s an alien movie so it is no surprise that a lot of people get killed off and I hope it is not too big a spoiler to say that the android end up in pieces, but still talking and “helping” out our heroine.
There were some problems with the movie, but none that were unforgivable and I went expecting to see folks get chased around by creepy aliens and I was not disappointed.
*Auto-correct wants to change Ridley to Ripley, which I find amusing.