Following a faint trail of clues, the accomplished archaeologist, Doctor Elizabeth Shaw, and her partner, Charlie Holloway, along with a seventeen-man crew, embark on an ambitious, deep-space scientific expedition. Aboard the revolutionary space-exploration starship, USCSS Prometheus, the team sets foot on the rocky terrain of the desolate exomoon, LV-223, in 2093, to investigate the existence of the superior extraterrestrial species known as the "Engineers". But, there, inside a mysterious, complex structure of cavernous dark chambers and an intricate underground system of tunnels, more enigmas await. Now, a terrifying discovery threatens not only the outcome of the bold outer-space mission but also the very future of humankind. Is the world prepared for the answers to the fundamental questions of human existence?Written by
Several famous actresses were considered for the role of Shaw, including Abbie Cornish, Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway, Charlize Theron (who ended up playing another character) and finally, Natalie Portman. 20th Century Fox executives initially wanted Portman playing Shaw. However, after watching her intense performance in the original 2009 version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Noomi Rapace became Ridley Scott's only choice, so he pressed to have Rapace as main protagonist instead. See more »
When Charlie is describing the civilizations that provided the clues and star maps leading them to the distant moon, he explains that these civilizations were all separated by centuries and had no contact. In this list he includes Sumerians, Babylonians, and Egyptians (among others). The Babylonian Empire rose out of the city-states of the Sumerians, borrowing heavily from their language, culture, and religions. It is also well known that the people of Sumer/Babylon had much contact with the ancient Egyptians via trade and war. See more »
This needed a second viewing, just to see if not being awestruck was my fault. Sir Ridley Scott's unintended (but obviously linked) prequel to his 1979 classic, 'Alien' is a hugely ambitious film; but is, in a word, meretricious.
The story is profoundly compelling, and is an example of why sci-fi can be the most noble of all genres. It's not afraid to ask the big questions – Where do we come from? What is our purpose? What happens when we die? – but cowers into the nearest black hole when it comes to answering them (or at least the last two of those). No film I have seen has handled analogous material better than Kubrick's '2001', and 'Prometheus' could have ensured similar stardom if it chose epiphany over escapist entertainment.
The year is 2093. Discovery of a recurring ancient cave painting has prompted a space expedition. A vessel called Prometheus carries a crew of 17 to a destination where it is believed the answers to human origin lie. Interweaving an alien story with the central plot is a major strength, a double-whammy concept. But the delivery is all devilry; pure Hollywood compromise.
Despite the voluptuous visuals, stunning production design and preference of manual over computer effects (including a memorable alien abortion sequence), what ruined it for me was the handling of this precious material. Perhaps it was inevitable. Between them, the two writers (Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof) have a limited repertoire which has space for the execrable 'Cowboys and Aliens' and equally distasteful 'The Darkest Hour'.
Discoveries are anti-climactic. When the crew discover something of importance, i.e. everything, they are remarkably insouciant. The effect on me was a mutual disinterest. All the elements for suspense are here: dark passages, inexplicable noises, prolonged moments of inactivity; yet there is a lack of the kind of suspense which gave Scott's 1979 film its reputation.
One saving grace is Michael Fassbender's David, the onboard android. He gives everyone an acting lesson; one that ship captain, Janek (Idris Elba) doesn't heed, choosing instead to remain impassive throughout. Guy Pearce (in heavy make-up) cameos as the CEO of the company funding the venture. He has only a few days of life left and presumes they will find a merciful rather than noxious God, and further presumes that he will be able to barter for an extension.
Other principal players are Doctors Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), and expedition manager, Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), who raises her voice to remind everyone who's boss (an interesting discussion point, evoking Scott's 'Blade Runner', is whether she's another android).
Once Darwinism has been negated, the crew, particularly Shaw, desperately seek other answers. This is where I felt cheated. Yes, speculation is often more enticing than revelation, but this film is fuelled by its revelations. We're not given the answers, ostensibly to add mystery. But I feel that the script writers had no more to offer. David asks Shaw why she so badly wants to know more. Her response is risible: 'Maybe it's because I'm human and you're a robot'.
The conclusion is impetuous and insipid. It is not too distant in tone and style than – I'm serious – 'Armageddon'. The best bit of the film probably won't even be talked about. It's established that Prometheus has actually landed on an installation, where aliens were being manufactured by our 'Engineers' (Gods) to create WMD. Their intention was to use these weapons to destroy Earth, but the aliens escaped captivity and massacred them. What a concept! If you were going to compromise, which this film does, why not show that story? Maybe they will in another prequel.
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