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Friday, June 8, 2012

entertain-me: review "prometheus"

The first thing you notice when you arrive to a "Prometheus" screening is that your fellow audience members are serious about this movie. They are ready, they have been ready and they are anxious to finally see this "prequel" of the "Alien" franchise. The lights go down and you hear an audible sigh from the audience "OK, let's do this." There is so much hype surrounding this Ridley Scott directed film that you wonder "Can it possibly live up to the hype?"

It does. "Prometheus" is a sweeping epic film with vast vistas of desert and space. It's beautiful, really, but confusing. Within the first moments of the film when you are introduced to a massive ghost white man drinking an unknown fluid and enduring the consequences, you wonder what that was about? I wondered that a lot throughout the film. 

The story opens in the future with two scientists Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo") and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green, "Dark Blue") discovering cave drawings (as they have in other parts of the world) with odd markings and tall figures which they interpret to mean that aliens made humans and they are now beckoning them to come find them. We enter familiar territory when we see Elizabeth and Charlie in deep sleep aboard a spaceship heading to an area that they triangulated from the drawings. The ship (Prometheus) is managed by Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron, "Snow White and the Huntsman" and captained by Janek (Idris Alba, "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance") as well as a supporting crew including David (Michael Fassbender, "X-Men: First Class), an android who is creepily the only one awake during the long sleep-induced flight to the outer galaxy. He watches "Lawrence of Arabia," learns alien languages and oversees the ship until the time has come and they arrive at the destination. 

As they arrive at the place where they are sure they will meet the ones that summoned them, you know this is a bed decision. You know it's a worse decision when they enter a man-made building resembling a giant anthill. It's an even worse decision as they remove their helmets when their instruments tell them the air is safe to breathe. (Hello, outer space contaminants?) As they begin their search they see otherworldly ghost figures running for their lives, a headless alien body. Stuff that would make the average person say "Let's get the hell out of here" and you actually cheer a little inside when several crew members actually say this. It's hard not to review this film at the point without giving away key points. These are things you should be surprised with without any key spoilers. 

Here's the thing: there are aliens, there is questionable black tar, there is blood, there is fire, there are chases. People die. It is exactly what you expect in an "Alien" franchise movie but with better special effects that they had with the first three films. Ridley Scott obviously knows how to make a great film and it is a great film. The problem is that there are plotlines that are left hanging. After we left the screening, I spent the hour driving home asking my husband questions that I still had. Most of time he said "Good question." The truth is, this is a film you need to see at least twice to get it all and if you are an "Alien" fan that is a feat you will gladly look forward to.

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