25 June 2012


NOTE: This entry contains spoilers!

Ridley Scott's Prometheus is now out in cinemas worldwide. It’s been successful at the box office in spite of mixed reviews. 
Some hate the unanswered, others can't stop raving about the ideas embedded in the story, while the rest feel ripped off for not getting the Alien continuity they expected. 

I think the misdirection was a mistake by the marketing department. They kept telling you it was linked somehow but never made it clear that:

·     is indeed set in the universe of the originals
·     is not directly a prequel to the first movie

However, it’s difficult to sell ambiguity on a large scale. The trailers were effective in creating hype and excitement, and the campaign’s highlights were the Weyland Industries viral videos on YouTube.

Having experienced Prometheus in IMAX 3D, I thoroughly enjoyed it as a fantastic sci-fi thriller. The performances, imagery and thematic elements, combined with the intense second half, were more than enough to overcome flaws in the story and characters.


Although light on creatures, a grotesque 'super facehugger' with multiple jaws was straight out of a nightmare. Its attack on an Engineer had me recoiling in my seat. For some reason, I just find that sequence almost too much to take. Maybe it was his look of terror, or perhaps the brute determination of a monster compelled to propagate itself in such a dreadful way.

The self-surgery scene is easily the stand out. It's a masterful piece of cinematic tension, as Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) races against time to remove a creature before it explodes out of her uterus. In IMAX there’s no escape, and it was unforgettably stunning.


However, underpinning the sequence is Shaw’s horrifying situation: unable to bear a child, she's confronted by a miracle. But she has to forcefully abort the foetus, because it will destroy her otherwise. When the clinical robots finally pull her alien baby out, its instinct is to fight for survival. The trauma of childbirth is a recurring theme in the Alien films. 

Another powerful scene is the one where the Engineer is awakened after thousands of years in hyper-sleep. Questioned by the crew, led by android David (Michael Fassbender), it rips his head off before killing everyone else and setting out to complete its mission. The scene subverts the expectations of the audience and highlights a chilling truth about humanity: the whole journey's been about a rich old man not wanting to die.


There’s a moment when the Engineer smiles as he pauses to admire David's face. Is he caught in child-like wonder? Or just plain amused, like when we're at a zoo and see chimpanzees act like people? Whatever it is, rage takes over, and this angry God destroys this attempt at idolatry.

These moments and images have stayed with me since experiencing the film over two weeks ago. The overwhelming visuals in IMAX 3D, epic themes of creation of life on planet Earth, the big questions about where we came from… there’s a lot to be revisited on Blu-ray.  
Check out the official Prometheus Facebook page.

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