So does Prometheus live up to the hype? Our new writer Imogen Reed investigates . . .

Ever since Prometheus was announced, fans have been driving themselves crazy with rumors and speculation. Everyone wanted to know more. Everyone wanted to see this. Years in the making, Ridley Scott’s dramatic return to the Alien franchise was bound to be an explosive one. Thankfully, the long wait is finally over and Prometheus has hit the cinema screens. But is it all it’s cracked up to be?

At first glance, it looks phenomenal. The trailer had fans worked into a frenzy before they set foot in the cinemas and the opening scenes were dramatic, mysterious and utterly tantalizing.

It’s a science-fiction film that seems to have it all – stunning special effects, brilliant actors and sets that just blow you away. The look and feel of Prometheus is entirely new and veers into the realms of ‘modern’ and ‘futuristic’ as opposed to the more grungy look of Alien. Even the ship’s interior is ultra-modern in its design – no hardwood coffee tables or sectional sofas here. But there is a distinct flavor of the Nostromo from the original films. The airlocks and corridors have that similar claustrophobic shape (albeit with a much more sleek appearance) and even the ships signage harks back to that old retro-futuristic font styling. It’s a similar feel throughout the film – something brand new with a familiar touch. Even down to the storyline.

So… is this a prequel or not?

I won’t go into the plot but whatever you’ve been told, do not believe the hype. There’s been numerous tall-tales going around that Prometheus isn’t an Alien film or that it’s only very remotely related. Some have even suggested that it’s simply ‘in the same universe’ as the originals. Even Ridley Scott himself has said in an interview that only “by the end of the third act you start to realize there’s a DNA of the very first Alien”. Unfortunately, somebody’s been telling porky-pies.

It’s true that there are differences – Prometheus is set a good thirty years before the events of Alien and it doesn’t tie in directly. For example, many believed that this film would explain the Space Jockey’s presence on LV-426, the planet where Ripley first encounters the Alien creature. That turned out not to be the case, but we are shown more of the Space Jockey’s race (referred to as The Engineers in Prometheus) and it essentially delves into the lore of the Alien franchise. But to say that Prometheus isn’t an Alien film is a gross underestimation of the film’s audience. We really aren’t that stupid.

Of course people will argue that Ridley-dearest was telling the truth all along and that this film has nothing to do with Alien whatsoever. But put it this way – whether it involves our friendly local Xenomorph directly, we’re presented with the very origins of the Alien creature. It’s not the exact creature we know and love, but then thirty-or-so years can really change a man (or Xenomorph).

But it’s not all bad… right?

Despite its shortcomings, Prometheus does have a few things in its favor. The cinematography is beautiful and the CGI is flawless. The set design is something to behold and the inclusion of murals by H.R. Geiger will satisfy the diehard fans of the originals. To some extent. Unfortunately, that’s about as good as it gets. Prometheus lacks the tension of the originals and just isn’t anywhere near as frightening.

If you take Prometheus as a stand-alone film, then sure, it’s good enough. But that’s the biggest problem – it isn’t a stand-alone film. It will always be compared to the originals and in that respect, it simply falls flat. Ridley Scott stated early on that he didn’t want to simply remake Alien but instead, do something fresh. Except he hasn’t. Instead, he’s recycled the same old concepts and bundled them into a fresh, new package – an android with dubious motives, a survivalist female who fights to the bitter end, even a rugged yet charming space captain. Sound familiar? So in veering away from the original, what Ridley Scott has actually done is rehash the best bits in a way that makes them worse. Now, don’t get me wrong, Prometheus isn’t dreadful… it’s just not that good either.
 
 

 
 

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  • Darth Yoda

     the planet Zeus discovered in “Prometheus” IS LV-426…

  • Sdwphoto

        ” Prometheus isn’t dreadful… it’s just not that good either.”
      
    in a nut shell that’s it.Saw it yesterday,it’s not bad and for the price of only $5 bucks. I got my money’s worth, but it leaves you wanting more.I didn’t mind the rehash of Alien ,it’s not what you do but how well you do it that counts in the end.
         I would strongly suggest another set of writers for the sequel.What sequel? Well ,I won’t give away the ending but if they make one with a better writer it could turn out to be a very good flick.

  • Bolithio

    I found the movie very entertaining. I turned the ‘nerd filter’ off before going, so the movie wouldn’t be ruined by arbitrary bitching in my head about how the Original Alien should dictate a movie 30 years later… And it worked pretty well. David was a fun sci-fi character and really stole the show. I still think its deserves to be reviewed stand alone – and not with unrealistic expectations. I say 3 stars. If you like sci-fi movies in theaters, you will not be disappointed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/renffurwehttam Matthew C. Ruffner

    Just saw it today. I thought it was a great early beginning to all concepts of the Alien franchise. In both worst and best case scenarios Prometheus is Scott doing to the Alien franchise what Lucas did w the Star Wars franchise. Bear w me. I see Scott being able to do at least one more if not two more movies to bring the audience up to speed w the original Alien movie. It’s pretty clear that Noomi Rapace is intended to remind viewers of Ripply’s character. This being said I don’t think it’s too far fetched for Scott to introduce her as Ripply’s mother and therefore bringing a tie-in to the older movies. As Anakin is Darth Vader, Shaw is Ripply’s mother. In so many ways we were expecting a prequel in Prometheus and I think it is just that, it simply goes back a bit forth then we were expecting. I have not read anythng in regards to what has been speculated or Riddly’s comments, but I see Riddly simply trying to set himself up w the chance to do more the franchise. W another movie or two, the view, Earth-being characters and Aliens will all meet up w the first crew we were introduced to in the first Alien movie. I enjoyed. It was pretty much what I expect w a bit more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/renffurwehttam Matthew C. Ruffner

    Very useful information…thank you!

  • Ricardo Quiel

    Due to the fact that cinematography is not an issue anymore (technicians are very well trainned nowadays), a good story is the only structure that holds a film together…and Prometheus lacks one.
    Didn’t Scott see Melancholia (Lars von Trier)?
    How could he ever did such a film when he is the “creator” of a kult film like “Blade Runner”? a visual and textual eminence piece of art.
    The difference is “text”.
    No text, no film…but beautiful pictures.

  • SimJax

    No, Zeus is LV-223, so it’s not the same planet featured in Alien and Aliens.

  • Knight Chat X

    The way the movie played out was totally unexpected and didn’t seem structured in some areas and yet structured in others.

    The ending left a huge question mark, though an aspect was similair to one of the previous aliens movies as was some of the look and feel it really didn’t give any clear answers to some of the most basic questions, the most important really being who created what and why, and why they were really doing what they were doing, did they turn on eachother at some point or did we turn on them or did they turn on us or did something else turn on them, what were they really running from in the beginning were they under some sort of attack or was something they created got loose or was there something else happening? Was one of the ships in distress?

    What were they in stasis for and why didn’t they wakeup earlier?

    Were these ships weapons or were they more of a noah’s type of an ark for sustaining life and moving to other planets, is that why they were in stasis?

    Was it really a copy of the classic aliens story and the alien charactor was more as the main charactor in story doing the samething putting themselves in stasis?

    It just wasn’t clear enough.

    I don’t think they should’ve killed the blonde off and could’ve done some other things, the end though interesting leaves the question open another movie would need to answer, but the type of choice she made after going through all of that by the end there’s no way someone would want to ever go where those things came from alone at that point you’d rather spend your time searching for superman’s planet Krypton or something.

  • Khevenhiler

    I just hope that there’ll be a sequel. Thats all.

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