Unfortunately, I did not get the opportunity to see Prometheus at the cinema and that decision turned out to be a very silly one indeed. To put it simply, Prometheus is an excellent movie! I thought that all of the cast did a fantastic job in their roles, the main ones being Noomi Rapace (who couldn’t love the original girl with the dragon tattoo?), Charlize Theron (she won my respect from the amazing performance in Monster), Michael Fassbender (from the brilliant Shame, as well as X-Men:First Class and Fish Tank), Logan Marshall-Green (from Devil, which was written by M. Night Shyamalan) and even a small role for Guy Pearce (most renowned from the mind-bending Memento, directed by Christopher Nolan). I made a point of steering clear of any interviews or articles relating to Prometheus before watching it in the hopes that nothing would be ‘ruined’ meaning that I had absolutely no idea what I was sitting down to watch, aside from the fact that it was an Alien prequel, directed by the one and only Ridley Scott. Though perhaps any historians reading this will be able to glean a little more from just the title, as Prometheus is part of Greek mythology and the story behind this somewhat echoes the issues raised during the course of the film.
I really don’t want to give anything away for this film but I think an appropriate warning for any hardcore ‘Alien’ fans (who haven’t yet seen it) would be to not have a definite expectation about what you are about to see. Expect the unexpected. It was literally nothing at all like I’d imagined it was going to be, and I give Ridley Scott the highest praise for this. I just love those moments where a film pleasantly surprises me and I am now intensely curious about what the Prometheus sequel will entail (oh yes people, a sequel is already on the cards). Though the film is set in the same ‘world’ as the other Alien films, it is not so much about the Alien’s at all – notice that there’s no ‘Alien’ in the title of the film, like there was with all of the others. Prometheus encourages us to probe deep into philosophical questions which are always tricky to deal with, like what is the purpose to our existence? These strong themes help the film to elevate itself higher than just another science-fiction/horror/action movie that we’ve all seen dozens of times, instead delving into places which makes us uncomfortable and vulnerable. It also questions the very nature of science and religion itself, two already contested subjects as they are, completely turning them on their head, which is an exceedingly bold move for any film – but a move I admire whole-heartedly.
Putting the other Alien films to one side for a second, Prometheus almost feels like it could work just as well as a stand alone film and this is quite remarkable considering how easy it would have been to have made a cut-and-paste, modernised version of the other movies. It pushed the boundaries and I applaud that.
Astonishingly enough, development of what we now know as ‘Prometheus’ began in the early 2000’s, but it wasn’t until 2011 when Damon Lindelof (co-creator and executive producer of the US television series Lost) joined the team that it really started to take shape. The marketing campaign for this film was fairly extensive (but then, there was an exceedingly high level of interest surrounding the film before any information was even given!). One of the early ‘events’ included footage being released of Charlize Theron doing naked push-ups, which Theron jokily stated that, ‘I know how to sell a movie’. There was also a slight incident with an unfinished leaked trailer somehow slipping through the net, but this was swiftly taken down. However, aside from this, the promotion (viral in particular) of Prometheus worked wonders, enabling it to earn a significant $3.39 million on its opening day, just in the UK (with a worldwide total of over $300 million to date)!
To sum up then, the visuals were great, the acting was great, the story was great – everything worked well to create a spectacular ‘package’. I honestly feel that this film has everything going for it and then some, definitely one which is going on my ‘to buy’ list! No hesitations here whatsoever.