Anticipation could not be higher for Ridley Scott's first science fiction flick in 30 years; so much so that Prometheus living up to the lofty expectations of audiences was damn near impossible. It goes without saying that managing your expectations is key here. What Scott has delivered is a truly cerebral blockbuster; one that delivers on the thrills and scale superbly. Will it make you quit your job, shave your head, and head off to Peru to hang with some mountain goats? No. But Alien fans will get a real kick out of it while everyone else can marvel in its utter gorgeousness.
Tackling many weighty themes; the least you know about this film going in the better. Thus, I will not go into too many details regarding the plot. I will say that Noomi Rapace is a scientist looking for big answers. Along for the ride are (a brilliant) Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, and (a stone cold) Charlize Theron - working that whole ice-queen angle again (after Snow White). They travel to a planet that they believe they've been "invited" to, but naturally, no one is rolling out the welcome mat.
After a slow, weighted build up that skilfully blends intense, foreboding ambience with the wonderment of a new planet - and possible new life - Prometheus unveils its immense beauty on a truly epic scale. Scott has made some stunning films in his time, but his work here is on a different level. Funding studio Fox have really backed the vision, and every cent of the budget is up there on the screen. Drink it in, folks, as films with sets so ostentatious will soon be a thing of the past as CGI becomes even more advanced. Technically, it's flawless.
The link to the Alien universe has been endlessly discussed online, with the enthralled masses arguing over flashes of "the space jockey" in the trailers. I will say that they are very different films. The 1978 flick was a grimier, much more intimate affair. Prometheus is a blockbuster with big, bold ideas and ideas it actually attempts to answer - a brave move. There is an intrinsic link with Alien, and a very smart one; naturally it will be too obvious for some and too subtle for others - but fun will be had spotting the connections regardless.
As for the cast, Rapace is solid, excelling in the films more frantic, edge-of-the-seat moments. Theron again proves that she's a dab hand at playing an utter bitch, while Elba is fine in a one note role as the captain of the ship. But this is Fassbender's film. Balancing the creepy and tender moments with almost effortless panache, the talented Irish actor once again delivers the goods.
Flawed, certainly, but also a true cinematic experience that begs to be seen on as big a screen as possible.