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Review: 'Prometheus' comes up short

Warning: This movie is not a prequel to "Alien," as some has referred to it.

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Prometheus: An IMAX 3D Experience
Robert Burleson
On Friday, one of the most anticipated films of the summer was released. "Prometheus" ushers the return of Ridley Scott to the realm of science fiction and to the universe of his first big Hollywood film “Alien.”

Is Scott’s return a triumphant return of the king?

While the film does swing for the fences, I feel that it comes up short in a couple of different areas. I am a huge fan of the Alien series and was looking forward to a kind of prequel to "Alien" and that is definitely not what this film is. I was disappointed by this at first and had to clear my mind of what I wanted the film to be and judge it on what the filmmakers had done.

The story follows the ship Prometheus as it travels to a distant world to investigate the theory of two scientists. The scientists believe that life was brought to earth millions of years ago by extraterrestrials who left behind ancient clues to find them. It is the search to learn where humanity comes from.

Along the way the crew discovers ancient alien ruins and an alien ooze that has some very dangerous and scary properties. The story leads to some very suspenseful moments and poses some interesting questions and thoughts, such as what if our makers don’t want to meet us?

Most of the film works really well, but a couple of scenes, like a seeming useless action sequence about two-thirds of the way through the film, just don’t seem to fit. A nod toward the film "Alien" at the end of "Prometheus" also seems tacked on as an afterthought.

The actors' performances are my favorite part of the film. Noomi Rapace, who plays the main character Elizabeth Shaw, did a good job of playing the strong female protagonist. She also gets some of the most exciting scenes.

While Elizabeth is the main character, David, an android played by Michael Fassbender, was my favorite part of the film. He is so fun to watch as he takes care of the ship and interacts with the humans who he is programed to help and is learning to understand. The feeling that he has a secret agenda that he isn’t telling anyone just makes the performance more enjoyable.

My other favorite character and the character with the most interesting arc through the film is the captain of the Prometheus, Janek. His name is pronounce with a silent J so is sounds like Yanek, and he was played by Idris Elba. While he just seems to just be interested in his self, in the end he gets to show off his intelligence and his heart.

Two actors who perform well but are not used to their full potential are Charlize Theron and Guy Pearce. Both play characters associated with the company financing the expensive space voyage but don’t really get to do much. Their actions aren’t always consistent either which bothered me.

The only other actor I will mention is Logan Marshall-Green who plays Elizabeth Shaw’s partner and love interest. The character was only there as a catalyst for certain parts of the film and was miscast in my opinion.

So after all that, is the film any good? I would say yes, but I have to add that I was disappointed the first time around.

I went and saw the film twice this weekend and had to get over the fact that the movie wasn’t what I was expecting. That’s when I was able to enjoy it for what it was. Even then it had its shortcomings. While it looked beautiful, the story didn’t always make sense and characters' decisions didn’t seem real. They seemed to be making decisions to move the plot forward.

In the end the film is good but fell short of what I wanted it to be.

3 of 5 stars
Did you see Prometheus this weekend? What did you think? 


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