After filming different movies for nearly 30 years, director Ridley Scott returns to the sci-fi genre. With ‘Alien’ and Blade Runner’ among his most famous productions, it’s been hoped ‘Prometheus’ would join that illustrious pantheon. Unfortunately this prequel to the Alien franchise fails to live up to the series’ finest moments. Whilst having qualities making ‘Alien’ so memorable, ‘Prometheus’ has the lacklustre feel of his latter productions than his more exciting earlier work.
Sent by the Weyland Corporation to explore a world once inhabited by God-like aliens, the crew of the Prometheus gather for their mission. Among them are archaeologist Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace), android, David (Michael Fassbender) and mission captain Meredith (Charlize Theron). Little do they know how unprepared they are as they discover of a world of mystery and lurking danger. Startled at what they find their lives become jeopardised as a sinister presence threatens their survival.
It’s a mystery what attracted Scott to this project. While his visual flair is clearly seen – with some stunning space vistas – the screenplay is all over the place. Unlike ‘Alien’ which had a simple narrative featuring a small group of characters, ‘Prometheus’ discards this minimalist approach by being its exact opposite. Populated by poorly drawn protagonists and a muddled plot, it eventually becomes rather dull. Hardly what one expects from a movie of this genre with its leaden pacing becoming tiresome.
Although trying hard, the performers leave little impression. Only Fassbender and Theron are given anything to work with and play their roles well. Despite its drawbacks there are some tense moments. Scenes set in tunnels and desolate ships are well handled effectively conjuring the occasional scares. It’s a shame there aren’t enough of them with ‘Promethus’ more a brooding philosophical essay than pensive sci-fi thriller.
Whilst delivering the goods with some spectacular CGI, Scott fails to back this up with an involving story. A great shame as much was expected from his sci-fi comeback with ‘Prometheus’ a humdrum addition to his extensive catalogue.
Rating out of 10: 5