Imagine a movie that tries to explain the origin of humanity, the meaning of life, the requirements for a soul, and why humans are so petty all at once.
Now do it while trying to introduce an alien race that will be the namesake to one of the most beloved franchises in sci-fi history.
Ridley Scott is an ambitious man, who makes lofty movies, with luxurious budgets. He gets fantastic actors, he gets fantastic crews and generally he makes fantastic films. Many of which, in the past, were the defining movies of their respective genres; the blueprint if you would for many subsequent works within those genres.
Alien spurned Aliens, the much beloved sequel, which basically inspired the Halo franchise and countless other scifi epics. He made Blade Runner, one of the most mentioned inspirations for directors today and basically putting a point on what neo-noir cyber punk should look like. Gladiator is close to many hearts, and was the door to the ancient, sword swinging epic that so many movies imitated afterward. He made Black Hawk Down, quite literally the movie that decided how war flicks (and video games) would look, sound and play from there onward.
Ridley Scott is something of a visionary, with a few missteps of course. I think he’s most effective when he does a project he truly cares about though. Passion projects, if you would. Prometheus is one of those projects. Maybe not redefining the genre, but bringing a new angle to a tired tale of man vs alien.
Prometheus is not devoid of flaws. Ridley does not make perfect movies. Some of them get boring halfway through, others have cheesy dialogue, sometimes ideas or plots can get muddled. Prometheus is victim to at least one of these, but it’s ambition makes up for all of it. He reintroduces old sci-fi hallmarks in new ways, with invigorating guile and cleverness. He makes a dense and multilevel plot, with many and varied characters, all with their own motivations, and involving you with the profound questions we all face. And after being submersed in this quizzical, meaningful cacophony of stories and feelings, somehow we all still walk out of the theatre satisfied and puzzled. So many questions answered but so many more raised.
It’s a movie that leaves a taste in your mouth, maybe you like it or not, but you won’t be able to avoid measuring other movies you see up to it, if they’re as dense, as well told, as arresting as this movie is. Never a beat missed, nor a dull moment. Bringing fire to the blockbuster movie lovers, not every action flick has to be a mindless action flick.
Go check it out.