Directed by Ridley Scott
Based on characters created by Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett
Screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green
This film is the fifth film in the Alien franchise. The story is based on characters created by Dan O’Bannon (Aliens) and Ronald Shusett (Total Recall), and the screenplay was written by Jon Spaihts (Doctor Strange) and Damon Lindelof (Star Trek: Into Darkness). Ridley Scott (Gladiator) returned to the franchise to direct the film after other directors handled the previous three movies. The cast features Noomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road), Idris Elba (Molly’s Game), and Logan Marshall-Green (Spider-Man: Homecoming).
This film is a somewhat disconnected followup to Alien: Resurrection. While the story definitely shares some aspects with the previous film, this is almost entirely new material. The writing sets up the unique tone of the film early, and does a nice job keeping the tension subtle early on. As the story moves forward, there is a barely noticeable uptick in the tension that builds towards a jump in action. The characters are nicely developed for the most part. There is some weakness in the way the characters are written. It’s almost as though the writing is letting you know who to avoid getting attached to. This is due to the dialogue and the lack of depth some of the characters have. The writing also telegraphs some of the twists coming, which leaves this a bit more predictable than it should’ve been. This story fails to take the risks that the premise seemed to provide. The action sequences are all in place, but there is a lack of punch in the deeper themes. The uneven nature of this script misses some great opportunities, leaving this feeling a bit underwhelming.
This talented group of actors did a lot of good work elevating the better aspects of the script. Despite the weakness of the script, the chemistry is there. Noomi Rapace does a great job giving her role an emotional depth that is mostly unspoken. She also handles the physical aspects of the role wonderfully. Michael Fassbender also does good work with a very unique role. His role required a more subtle approach, and he handles that nicely. Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, and Logan Marshall-Green also do solid work with this one. While the writing didn’t provide a lot to work with, most of the cast does good work. The physical demands of the script were also solidly executed. Overall, the cast did as much as possible with the uneven script.
The true highlight of Prometheus is the visuals. From the first moment, this one looks great. The movie features images that are both beautiful and haunting. The special effects, CGI, and all the rest of the visual aspects of the production are incredible. Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski (The Martian) deserves a lot of credit for the great camera work in this one. Add in great costuming, props, and sets; and this one might be one of the better looking science fiction films in recent memory. The film earned it’s only Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects. The score, composed by Marc Streitenfeld, (American Gangster) is a wonderful addition to the film.
This movie is a bit of an enigma. While all of the pieces seem to be in place, the story leaves something missing. The premise is solid, but there’s something patchy or disconnected about the execution of the second half of the film. Fans of the Alien films should take the time to check this out. While the connection to the previous films is remote there are aspects that connect the movies. I would also suggest this to fans of the stars. Despite the issues, there are enough moments where the actors shine. I give this one 3.3 out of 5 stars.