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Friday, June 8, 2012

Prometheus Review - by Joshua Handler

Prometheus Review
by Joshua Handler
2012, 124 minutes
Rated R for sci-fi violence including some intense images and for some language

Prometheus lives up to its hype.  It is an intelligent, visually impressive, and well-acted piece from master director Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator).  This is truly a visionary piece that had huge ambition, but it may not be the film that you may have expected.  For some, that may be a great thing, for some others, it may not.

Prometheus is a sort-of prequel to Alien, but has its own characters and story.  It follows a group of scientists who, after discovering some ancient cave paintings, travel to the far edges of space to visit a planet that may give them the answer as to where humans came from.  What they find there is for you to find out.

The film raises questions of humanities' origins, whether or not religion is valid, and many other deep questions.  It does not answer these questions, but more throws them out as food for thought which was enough for me.  Having answers is not everything.  Did A Separation need clear-cut answers?  Did the ending of Inception need a perfectly unambiguous conclusion?  Of course not!  Inception was one of the most hotly debated films when it came out and A Separation's genius was that it was ambiguous.  I don't want to discuss the details of how and why these questions are raised so as not to spoil the film.  I enjoyed thinking about the questions raised in Prometheus, something that most modern audiences don't seem to like to do anymore.

Ridley Scott has made some fascinating films in the past, some are near-perfect masterpieces.  This film is not a masterpiece, but it definitely an excellent one.  Scott along with cinematographer Dariusz Wolski have craft some stunning images that awed me.  The visual effects are meshed seamlessly with the live action and hardly ever look fake.  The world of the alien planet that the scientists travel to looks eerily real, even though we all know that it is not.  The budget for this film was around $100 million less than The Avengers, but has equally as good effects, if not better.

The acting, particularly by Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender, is superb.  Noomi Rapace plays Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, one of the head scientists, with a particular intensity that makes some scenes nearly unbearable to watch, and Michael Fassbender is scarily believable as the android David.  He speaks exactly like a robot and is never any less than believable.  Much of the time, sci-fi films are brought down by terrible acting, but that is not the case here.

As mentioned before, this film is not for gore-hungry action fans.  It is more of an intellectual (for the first 2/3) and dialogue and visuals-driven drama, than a horror or action film.  It does have some thrilling sequences and some moments of gore, but is nowhere near as scary or gory as other sci-fi films like Alien.

Overall, Prometheus is a must-see film with large ambition, solid acting, top-notch visuals, and fascinating  ideas.  I was never bored and was taken for a very fun ride from a director who knows how to deliver.


1 comment:

  1. Muy interesante, estoy pensando en ir a verla. La información aquí esta muy bien estructurada atendiendo siempre en no adelantar nada importante a los lectores fanáticos del cine. Amo la ciencia ficción y espero que esta película no me defraude. Buen trabajo Joshua.