Prometheus is the fifth film in the Alien franchise, once again providing audiences with a suspenseful and engaging sci-fi mystery to solve. Not only is Prometheus a prequel to the original four Alien films, but it also marks the return of the director of the first movie, Ridley Scott. With a slower and more mystery-driven storytelling formula, Prometheus is far less bloody than its predecessors but is nonetheless unsettling.
The film features an all-star cast of modern actors, including both A-list and highly underrated actors and actresses. By returning to the franchise’s roots and emphasizing the science and suspense over blood and guts, Prometheus encourages audiences to think, analyze, and discuss its plot. While it has received its fair share of criticism since release, Prometheus is a great entry in the Alien franchise and a surprisingly enthralling tale of discovery gone wrong.
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The Movie Review
Prometheus takes place in 2093, a few decades before the events of the original Alien film. The movie follows the Prometheus, the titular research spaceship headed for an undisclosed location. Their trip is spurred on by a recent discovery on Earth; cave-paintings that hint towards an alien species that may have created humanity, nicknamed “the Engineers”.
Along with an android named David (Michael Fassbender) and a representative from the mega-corporation Weyland named Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), a team of scientists embarks on an expedition to track down the Engineers and potentially unlock the answers to humanity’s biggest questions. Unfortunately, the answers they seek come at an insurmountable cost.
Despite starting off a bit slow, Prometheus eventually gets the wheels turning, inviting viewers into surprisingly disturbing sequences of horror. Although they might not be as bloody or gratuitous as they were in previous Alien films, the action scenes in Prometheus still work well, adding some exceptionally cool content into the otherwise dialogue-heavy story.
There’s also multiple sub-plots and mysteries to follow, with numerous characters in the group harboring their own personal dramas and fears. As more and more things go wrong, the odds seem incredibly stacked against our heroes, where sometimes a quick death might be the easiest way out.
The movie has a handful of issues though, that some Alien fans might find more egregious than your average movie-goer. Although the characters presented are often fun and personable, they are prone to terrible decision-making, especially when you consider how intelligent they’re supposed to be. Time after time, both the researchers and ship-crew basically spell their own deaths, defying all common sense and reasonable logic.
The movie is also a “semi-prequel” to Alien, meaning that it takes place in the same universe, but does not necessarily lead directly into the events of the first movie. While Prometheus feels similar to Alien in terms of tone and character structure, there’s a lot more about the movie that is different and unique, some of which might be disappointing for long-time franchise fans.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Prometheus is an enjoyable sci-fi flick with some great concepts and even cooler action scenes. Dim-witted characters and the occasionally cluttered story might cause a few eye-rolls and sighs, but the rising action and climactic finale are well worth the missteps. As long as you go into Prometheus with your expectations in check, any fan of the Alien universe should find something to like. Just don’t expect a movie packed with xenomorphs, Sigourney Weaver, or tons of blood. Despite its occasional failings, Prometheus is still tons of fun and one of the most underrated entries in the Alien franchise.
- Great performances and talented cast
- Successful suspense and intrigue
- Great variety in action and horror
- Characters make bad decisions to serve the plot
- Some plot twists are predictable