Until now, British filmmaker Ridley Scott had just made two sci-fi films, ‘Alien’ (1979) and ‘Blade Runner’ (1982), but both stand as genre-defining movies. This will not be the case of ‘Prometheus’, which is set some decades before the events seen in ‘Alien’.
In this case, the story centers on a space expedition that arrives on a distant planet searching for the origins of humanity. The crew includes two archeologists, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green); a captain, Janek (Idris Elba); a humanoid robot named David (Michael Fassbender); and an employee of the company sponsoring the mission, Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), among others. They expect to find intelligent life on the planet, but not sure of what kind.
Ridley Scott and his crew have put a lot of effort on the look of the movie, which is stunning. The visual effects and settings are wonderful, and they keep the interest of the spectator despite the weakness of the plot. Some elements of the original ‘Alien’ are there, like the conflicts within the crew or a strong feminine character (in this case Noomi Rapace), but on the whole ‘Prometheus’ is a completely different movie.
While ‘Alien’ had a strong premise and very few elements (the ship, charismatic characters, imaginative effects and clever directing and acting), ‘Prometheus’ tries to combine too many things at once. The story is quite predictable and full of clichés, while the characters, not well defined, fail to engage the spectator. Only David, the humanoid robot interpreted by Michael Fassbender, has some interest.
Despite its wonderful visual effects and superb setting design, ‘Prometheus’ is an overblown, inconsistent entertainment.