Rated: R for sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: June 8, 2012 Released by: Twentieth Century Fox
The rumors around Prometheus speak to the idea that it is a prequel to Alien one of the most frightening science fiction films ever made. That promise has many anxious to see if this Ridley Scott film will bring answers to the foundation of Alien. Sigourney Weaver's slender young Ripley battled a lizard like acid bearing alien alone in space. Prometheus takes place thirty calendar years before the scream that could not be heard in space.
Prometheus begins in a cave in Scotland filled with age old drawings which match a number of cave scrawls from different locations on Earth. They point a way to discover where did humans on Earth come from. Quickly we find it's 2089 and the crew, engineers and investigating staff are on the Prometheus an unbelievably large space ship with a full basketball court and many other comforts in deep space. The trillion dollar space ship paid for by a wealthy elderly man (something like When Worlds Collide from the 50's). Charlize Theron is the commander of the mission and she plays it straight as the hard driving disciplinarian to the crew heading for planet LV 223.
The sets and art work are about as good as it gets and there is a sense of realism even when we know the space ship is way beyond what can happen in less than 80 years from now. Here the special effects are a result of the need in the script rather than splashed around just because the FX folks can do them.
While the geologist cracks too quickly Noomi Rapace's Elizabeth Shaw is like steel, she doesn't bend and brings us the most powerful chilling scenes in the film. She also learns not to trust robots more quickly than Ripley did in Alien. The robot is less threatening here but more chilling, as Elizabeth learns much about human DNA and its origin.
The discovery appears to move slowly but the creature is always among the characters, and that keeps us paying attention especially when Rapace is on the screen. She even keeps us interested when we know she leaves the Alien to wait for Ripley.