Movie Review: Prometheus [2012]

Prometheus [2012]

Prometheus [2012]
Director: Ridley Scott
Genre: Action/Horror/Sci-Fi
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green
Runtime: 124 minutes

Ridley Scott’s latest film is one that I had minimal interest in at the beginning of the year. Sir Ridley has been very much hit-or-miss with his work in the last decade, and a return to the deteriorating Alien universe seemed to have all the makings for another disappointment. But then the viral marketing kicked in.

First it was a video of Guy Pearce, as the character Peter Weyland, delivering a speech about his vision for the future. Soon after came a new batch of breathtaking promotional images. Longer trailers were released, as were teaser clips. In April, a video clip introducing the David 8, a robot played by Michael Fassbender, began making its rounds. My level of anticipation began to grow with each new piece of promo material, and by the end of May I was genuinely excited to see what Prometheus had to offer.

While the movie’s marketing campaign ranks as one of the all-time greats, it may have been a little *too* good. Could a film looking this awesome possibly deliver the goods? Well, yes and no.

Prometheus [2012]

As far as recent sci-fi films go, Prometheus is one of the better ones I have seen. I am generally not a huge sci-fi guy, but I was hooked right from the beginning. It helps that the film’s concept is an intriguing one — one that asks all sorts of questions.

Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green star as Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway, respectively, an archaelogist couple that has discovered an amazing star map that may shed some light on the origin of mankind. After receiving funding from the Weyland Corporation, the duo join the crew of the scientific vessel Prometheus to follow the map and see if their findings are legit. When they reach their destination, it doesn’t take long for the shit to hit the fan. They quickly realize that they are not alone.

Who/what else is on this moon? Why did the star map point in this direction? Is this really the home of the creators of the human race? What’s up with this black gooey stuff? Why is there a giant statue head inside this large dome? Why is there a decapitated body inside? What does all this mean?

Prometheus [2012]

The characters, not to mention all of us viewers, ask so many questions but get so few answers in return (certainly not unexpected given that Lost creator Damon Lindelof co-wrote the script). There are some serious thought-provoking ideas in place here, especially when it comes to religion and evolution. Prometheus is one of those movies where you’ll want to talk about it with your friends immediately afterward. There are just so many big ideas mentioned that it would be impossible to get answers for all of them. Undoubtedly, this will infuriate some, but it will at least lead to some fruitful (albeit often polarizing) discussions.

Prometheus is hampered a bit by its batch of characters. With such a large crew on board, it’s difficult for the majority of them to receive fleshed-out storylines, and therefore we don’t really feel too attached to most of them. They also have a habit of falling into sci-fi/horror stereotypes, occasionally acting irrationally for no reason. In a way, this is expected for the genre, but it does feel a bit out of place when compared to the cerebral nature of the overall film.

Prometheus [2012]

Regardless of their actions, not enough can be said of the very impressive cast. Noomi Rapace is tremendous to watch as her character evolves into a spiritual successor for Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, and it’s great to see her continue to succeed in Hollywood. The other absolute highlight of the film is Michael Fassbender’s performance as the android, David, in a role not too far off from 2001‘s HAL 9000. Quite simply, he owns the screen every time he makes an appearance. Charlize Theron fits in well as the supervisor from Weyland Corporation, a strong assertive female with a strict set of rules for her ship. I was also particularly pleased with Idris Elba (Stringer f’n Bell) and his charismatic ways as the vessel’s captain.

Prometheus is a visually stunning film that delivers some impressive eye candy (which everyone can enjoy), and it has a killer concept with a bunch of great ideas. It doesn’t quite live up to its lofty potential and excessive hype, but it’s still a damn good sci-fi film that is engrossing from beginning to end. Fans expecting a direct prequel to Alien will be disappointed, but if you go into the movie with an open mind you should walk out mostly satisfied.


173 thoughts on “Movie Review: Prometheus [2012]

  1. beautiful life and style says:

    The flaw of this movie was the fact that there was no resolution to ANYTHING. While the set up was great- visually fascinating to watch, amazing scenery, interesting premise and biblical undertones, I think it fell severely short on plot, dialogue and certainly needed better answers for the 1000 questions asked. Maybe its because they tried too hard to combine a thought provoking movie with sci-fi with horror with a summer blockbuster- because it was a so-so version of all of the above.

    In the end, my boyfriend and I walked away thinking they had basically set up a sequel- but will it provide any answers or just ask more interesting questions in an interesting environment???

  2. bobofed says:

    I thought the movie was good, a lot of actio. When you look at the concept of the movie it was horrible. A prequel is meant to be in the past not the future. Why did the decapitated head still have flesh attached to it. How many eons past before these earthlings got to it. So many things went wrong lol but again if you forget that its a prequel or a supposed one. Then its a good movie. I didnt care for the concept

    • Eric says:

      Well, technically Prometheus did take place before the Alien movies. Prometheus is set in 2089, whereas Alien is in 2179. Whether or not it is a true prequel, however, is debatable.

      Glad to hear you enjoyed the movie anyway!

    • Eric says:

      I don’t know, there are definitely a lot of vocal supporters for this movie. The reviews have been pretty mixed overall, which has made for some interesting discussions. It has some flaws, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I’m glad to have read this review. We were talking about this movie this past weekend with family and with trailers showing all the good scenes sometimes we get through the movie and realize we’ve seen the whole thing during a commercial!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. theyellowranger says:

    I have to agree with you on all points. I really enjoyed the movie but it definitely left you with more questions than answers. I’m wondering if there will be a Prometheus II and if so, if it will answer any more questions we have or just pose more.

    • Eric says:

      Cheers! I think a sequel is pretty much guaranteed, and yeah, I would really like some of the questions to be answered as well. Glad you dug the movie!

  5. cheapchivalry says:

    Great review! I had no idea a Lost writer co-wrote the script (but that explains a lot as to why they DIDN’T explain a lot). Michael Fassbender most definitely owned the scenes he was in. I thought Charlize did well too (especially with her quarantine stand, it struck me as very Ripley even though she wasn’t the hero). Did you see it in IMAX? Just curious as to if that adds to it, since Prometheus/ the Alien series seems to utilize visuals and sounds well.

  6. Sacha Black says:

    did you know that the concept behind the film – the images shared across cultures is actually based on truth… theres a lot of conspiracy around it, but as a result of the film i have started reading a couple of books about the concept…. it really is fascinating! 🙂 great review

      • Sacha Black says:

        If you really are interested the evidenced based book that started off the conspiracy behind ‘the engineers’ was called “chariot of the gods” by Erich Von Daniken.

        but the other book i am reading about this is called ‘elder gods of antiquity’ by M.Don Schorn

        let me know what you think if you do read them!

  7. Brett Hackett says:

    Good review. Summed up exactly how I felt about it as well; lots of unanswered questions, huge scope, slightly fell short of the hype but as a standalone film it succeeded in being an intriguing sci-fi film.

  8. TheWordpressGhost says:

    This said a lot: “Lost creator Damon Lindelof co-wrote the script.”

    Lost was great for two episodes. Then it got OLD.

    So, does their lostness coefficient work for ONE movie?



    • Eric says:

      You know, I enjoyed LOST for the first couple seasons but my patience grew thin after that point. I felt obligated to finish the show, but I couldn’t have been happier when it ended.

      Prometheus is much more enjoyable than LOST, in my opinion.

  9. Jericho says:

    I even found the visuals disappointing, especially when it comes to these laughable spacesuits (looked like wet suits for scuba diving) and the interior design of the Prometheus. It simply didn’t look like a spaceship, more like a computer game. No comparison to the Nostromo.
    The CGI monsters weren’t convincing either. So I don’t know, which “great visuals” so many reviews refer to. The landscape was nice and the interior of the alien facility. In the original Alien it still looked better though.
    Noomi Rapace played a boring character. In the original Alien Ripley evolved from an insignificant minor role into the main protagonist, after the supposed protagonists Dallas and Caine were just killed leaving the audience first clueless and later totally surprised. Noomi Rapace’ role on the other hand was predictable and she is just not attractive enough for the main female character of a movie.
    And when I saw Michael Fassbender, I couldn’t get the image of Data from Star Treck Next Generation out of my head.
    Charlize Theron looked too much like a comic-book character. She was too stylish and therefore lacked credibility.
    The whole plot was too unscientific to be called “science fiction”. It was rather some kind of religious fiction. Even DNA had some magical powers. Some extraterrestrial DNA drops into water. And later it turns into human beings. Some magical goo is able to turn every lifeform into an evil zombie-version of it.
    Sorry, this plot might work for a children’s cartoon, but not for a movie of the Alien franchise.

    • Eric says:

      I’m sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with this movie, but it really sounds like you are nitpicking here. You are complaining that Noomi Rapace wasn’t attractive enough to be the lead actress? Seriously?

      Look, I get that this is a flawed movie and it’s not going to be for everyone, but you picked some peculiar things to complain about. I think too many people dwell on the Alien connection and are disappointed as a result.

  10. Jeff Brown says:

    I have been interested in seeing this movie and with so many positive word of mouth for it I must say I’m even more enticed to go see it. Once I have the time I think this will be the first movie theater experience I have had in over a year.

  11. The Focused Filmographer says:

    “Yes and No” definitely seems to be the general consensus of this film. A great review here. We see a lot eye to eye on this one.

    on another note…super impressive the amt of likes and comments your review has received. You’re writing some great stuff sir! Nice.

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