"Exciting, tense and grips you completely, but it's afterwards when you try to dissect it and attempt to break it down in your head that you realise the many faults..."
After months of hype - teaser trailers, rumours and pretty much anything film fans can grasp hold of - Ridley Scott's Prometheus has finally arrived: a film that comes with high expectations from a hopeful audience, as one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year.
Loosely working as a prelude to the Alien series - not by way of storyline as such, but as it's set prior to the 1979 production, and takes place in the same universe - Scott's first feature since Robin Hood is set between 2089-2093, where a courageous group of scientists and doctors are searching for answers based around the creation of the human race. Following clues found by Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and her partner Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) - the group set off on the spaceship Prometheus to search for life forms that they believe created the human race - to ask questions and discover exactly why they did so, and why they have since abandoned Earth.
The mission is being funded by Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), and on board we have his daughter Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), and his robot assistant David (Michael Fassbender) as well as the captain of the ship Janek (Idris Elba) amongst others. Resolute and ambitious for their potential findings, the group soon realise that there is life to be found on the distant planet which they have landed on, but little do they know that such living beings do not necessarily want to be found - causing danger not only to the Prometheus ship, but to all of mankind.
Following a host of lacklustre Alien sequels, at long last the franchise returns to its creator, but Scott has not given us what we had hoped for. Unlike Alien, Prometheus is just too big an idea and too complicated to fully comprehend. Alien bears a simple and effective premise, where you don't have to intellectualise. In Prometheus, you need to really study it to attempt to work it all out. However, even when doing so, very little actually makes any sense.
The premise is fascinating and potentially absorbing, and the feature sets itself up brilliantly as the characters seek to discover their very own creation. Yet the execution of such themes and ideas is very poor, and Scott's inconsistencies and failure to fully come to terms with the film’s very own premise merely seeks in devaluing the entire Alien franchise, as it seems almost as though its very own creator doesn't even understand his own child.
So many questions are posed within this film. Where do we come from? Why do we exist? Who are our creators, and what do they want? Yet it seems that Scott - the man with the answers - is keeping tight-lipped as absolutely none of the above questions are actually answered, making for a very frustrating experience for the viewer. Scott has evidently left an open ending to plan for a sequel, but you can still conclude issues and form a complete film whilst setting up for a second project. As no questions find any apparent resolution, it almost deems the entire experience a complete waste of time.
It's somewhat difficult to fully digress into the annoyances within the story as they come mostly during the finale and I wouldn't want to spoil anything for you - leaving me as frustrated writing my review as I was watching the film, as all of the small irritations swimming around in my head will simply have to stay up there. I would say go and see it for yourself, but I'm not actually sure that's the best idea.
Moving away from the frustrations within the story and the ambiguousness of the conclusion where nothing is achieved, there are some mighty positives which certainly work in balancing the good with the bad. Firstly the setting is fantastic and when in 3D it makes for a brilliant cinematic experience for the viewer as you almost feel as though you are entering Scott's very own universe, whilst a wonderfully tense and mysterious atmosphere emanates from this feature. The special effects used are also stunning.
The other positives come in the very strong performances across the board. Fassbender steals the show, as per usual, as the soulless David whose intentions remain blissfully unclear throughout. There are some wonderful scenes early on featuring Fassbender walking around Prometheus on his own, as he has this allure that just engages an audience. Rapace is also great, as she has an eccentricity to her that makes her outlandish ideas and concepts and her sincere curiosity all seem entirely plausible. She could do with working on her British accent though.
When watching Prometheus you do actually enjoy it. The film is exciting and tense and grips you completely, but it's afterwards when you try to dissect it and attempt to break it down in your head that you realise the many faults. It's a film that you can love as much as you hate, but ultimately leaves you feeling disappointingly unfulfilled.