The Return of Serious Sci-Fi: Prometheus

An Active3D Review: Prometheus

Rating: **** (out of 5)

Some 33 years after its debut, Alien finally gets itself a prequel, and it’s directed by the man who helmed the original, Ridley Scott. I greeted this news with some trepidation and, some 30 minutes into the film, my jury was still out, but, as the film settled in, so did I.

Stripped to its essence, Ridley Scott’s Alien was a ‘dark house’ thriller; different only because of its deep-space setting. Make no mistake, however; it was a stylish, scary affair, and the movie, its poster, and tagline (“In space, no one can hear you scream”) went on to entrench themselves in cinematic folklore.

The Alien sequels, perhaps predictably, went nowhere fast, with each looking like a poor clone of its originator. Like the Friday the 13th movies, they really had nowhere to go, other than to have sabre-toothed, reptilian creatures leap out from dark corners at one. It was clear that this prequel would require something to set it apart – and this it has, with a philosophical element that is sometimes interesting and, at other times, confusing, sentimental and trite. The overall experience is, however, a moody, somewhat unsettling and worthwhile one. And Charlize Theron, I might mention, displays, yet again, her affinity with dark roles…

The 3-D is underplayed throughout – to the extent that I barely remember it to be a “3-D movie”. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if Ridley Scott played down the 3-D in order to keep the medium from overriding the message.

A touch that I really liked, is the film’s homage to David Lean: Michael Fassbender’s character, a humanoid robot, proclaims his favourite movie to be Lawrence of Arabia, and even models his look after Peter O’Toole, as he appeared in that movie. Would it be difficult to draw parallels between the humanoid and Lawrence characters? Not at all. Then comes the real treat for fans of 3-D and David Lean, as we are shown a few moments from that classic film in 3-D. And it looks smashing! Could we perhaps hope that Scott would spearhead a campaign to have that Lean masterpiece converted to 3-D? Ah well; we live and dream…

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