Prometheus [Celluloid Hero]
The idea of “Prometheus” was originally to be a straight prequel to the Alien movie franchise. Director Ridley Scott was in charge of the first Alien movie, and there was a lot of buzz surrounding his return. The Alien franchise has a devoted following, and there is great debate as to the merits of the original and each of the sequels. Each sequel was directed by a different director, which led to many different visions and interpretations on the ‘universe’ of Aliens. Bringing back Ridley Scott was supposed to harken back to the original and breathe new life into the franchise.
I’m not an “Alien” devotee. I’ve seen all the movies (including the two Alien vs Predator movies), but I don’t consider myself a rabid fan. I’ve enjoyed them all, and looked forward to this prequel giving some insight to the xenomorphs and their existence. However, once the pre-production stage began, Scott seemed to distance himself from the “prequel” tag and state the movie was a stand-alone project.
The story centers on a scientific expedition to a distant planet, with the goal of finding out where humans come from. There is evidence that we were created by an alien race, and this group is there to find out for sure. There are a lot of cool sci-fi moments and great special effects, but the acting and the story are muddled and never really get settled.
It felt like many questions were being asked without giving any sort of answer. The problem with a prequel is that the audience already knows the outcome; we just want to see what led to it. Scott seems to be intent on creating a unique movie, that would have been better suited to just be in it’s own universe.
If this was meant to be a pure prequel, a series of events taking place prior to the first “Alien”, with consequences that set into motion the actions of later films, I can’t really say it did the job. If it was meant to be more of a spin-off, something that takes place within the same fictional universe but not directly connected, then it made a bit more sense.
On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, “Prometheus” gets a 6 out of 10.
[Each week, Varacchi explores cinema from his own perspective. From indie to foreign to mainstream, he'll watch it all. Suggestions and recommendations are welcome, leave a comment below. CLICK HERE for the Celluloid Hero archives]