Going into Prometheus, I was slightly nervous because I’d never seen any of the Alien movies and I know pretty much nothing about them. Prometheus was formed as a prequel to this franchise so my fear was that my understanding would be limited, making my ability to enjoy it limited as well. However, the film does work fine as a stand-alone film.
The set-up of Prometheus is around a team of explorers that are set out to discover the true beginning of human life on earth based on discoveries found in caves that go back thousands of years. Pretty soon, we are introduced to the characters that will be leading us through space to a distant moon which will serve as the location of the film. One of the things we get a feel for is that the location visuals are quite good. While there are not a lot of different areas covered within the film, the areas that are explored are quite impressive.
Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan-Marshall Green) are the leading scientists on this expedition with a team of 17 crew-members on board the space-ship. The expedition itself is funded by a company whose CEO had personal interest in the theories that were being explored with this ship. Monitoring the expedition as a representative of the company is Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) who immediately presents herself as someone to watch due to her opposing nature coupled with her authoritative role. While there are struggles within the team when relationships begin to breakdown over disagreements on how to proceed, the overall premise of the movie is relatively simple. The uncertainty and suspense comes with wondering whether there are alterier motives among certain crew members in relation to each other or the entire expedition itself. Once you might get a sense that something might be up, there’s always that feeling that carries its way through, but you’re never really certain.
The key points in which Prometheus deserve attention come in the way of android David (Michael Fassbender) and the questionable yet cold Meredith Vickers. Fassbender does a tremendous job playing a synthetically emotive human figure that is almost eerie as the question arrives that maybe he’s more real than originally thought. Meanwhile, Theron presents an authentically real yet cold character that is in itself eerie and questionable making for a wonderful juxtaposition.
There is a sense that the film ends up feeling limited because of its Alien association. As the movie progresses, there seems to be a level of restriction over where the storyline can proceed and this hinders the potential outcome. Despite this, Prometheus does work as its own film and that supports its script in a satisfying way.