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Prometheus movie poster

Prometheus: Movie Review

Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: R
Directed by: Ridley Scott

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green
Released by: 20th Century Fox

In Short: "Alien" director Ridley Scott reboots the famed Sci-Fi film series with this slight variation on his original 1979 movie, this time told as the origin story of the terrifying creature.

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Witness the Birth of the Alien

As "Prometheus" unspools in all its cinematic glory (it is a gorgeous-looking movie), you may get a feeling of déjà vu. For director Ridley Scott, he of the wonderful original "Alien" from way back in 1979, has returned to tell us all the origin story of that human-devouring creature from outer space, and he has done it in a very similar way.

Despite new screenwriters and supposedly creating a brand-new tale of how the Alien came into being, much of the first half of "Prometheus" feels like a beat-by-beat rehashing of "Alien." As we begin this latest installment (there have been five sequels to Scott's original film), we're on a spaceship filled with sleeping scientists/astronauts. When they awake after a two-year trip on a seemingly desolate planet, they don spacesuits and head into a weird underground cavern filled with pod-like canisters and other odd things.

Sound familiar? Throw in characters that include a ruthless businesswoman (Charlize Theron) who has funded the exploration, two dedicated scientists (Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green), various crew members and a very capable android (Michael Fassbender) who manipulates things for the corporation behind the scenes, and the movie really does feel like "Alien" simply being told all over again.

Logan Marshall-Green, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender in Prometheus The "Prometheus" ship that is the film's namesake

Fortunately, as the story moves into the second half, the plot becomes more original – and more action-packed and visually exciting. And while our heroine, the leading lady scientist Noomi Rapace, may be half the size of the original series' iconic Sigourney Weaver, her screen presence is large. So we root for her character to be tough enough to make it out alive, despite the fact that she really should be in a hospital bed for the last third of the flick. That's just one of the unfortunate elements in the movie that make us go, "Huh? Oh come on!" Those moments definitely pull the viewer out of the fantastical world of "Prometheus," which is really a cardinal sin of filmmaking.

At least Scott has included enough scary moments to keep us worried about what terrifying creature is going to pop up next, and he echoes the original film in giving us some downright disgusting scenes that get the whole audience squirming. There are some especially effective ones by the end of the film, where the two stories really merge into one, and (naturally) allow for a sequel to follow.

Overall, "Prometheus" isn't quite what we had hoped for from the Academy Award-winning director, because of the lack of originality in so much of the plot. But Scott redeems himself by presenting spectacular visual effects that keep us interested in his origin tale, even when he throws in some seriously far-fetched plot points.


Reviewed by Jenny Peters


(Updated: 11/07/12 JLD)

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