Posts Tagged ‘Engineer’

Prometheus (2012)

June 13, 2012

[rating:4]

Prometheus is a gorgeous film directed by Ridley Scott, the highly anticipated prequel-but-not-really companion piece to Alien (1979) also directed by Ridley. The story is set some years before the event of Alien and of a completely different plot, although it does shred some mystery of the origin of the space jockey, by questing the origin of mankind, only leading to more mystery.

It is a very unique movie that shows a director picking up the same material 3 decades after the movie that made his name, and showing a very different director in work making a very different movie. That doesn’t happen often, whether or not the movie lives up to the high expectation is pretty much beside the point.

The story goes like this – A team of scientists led by Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapce) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) arrives at a distant planet on a mysterious mission. Among the spaceship crew we also find David (Michael Fassbender), our trustworthy android who styles himself after Peter O’Toole from Lawrence of Arabia, and Vickers (Charlize Theron) the postergirl of the evil cooperation.

Dr.Shaw and Dr.Holloway believe that some ancient tablets sharing the same star map indicate the origin of mankind. They hibernate for 2.5 years, flying in Prometheus 3.27 x 10^ 14 km away from Earth, that by the way means they should be flying at 34.6 times the light speed to make it on time, to meet the creator of mankind. You see, the science is as sketchy as my math. Anyway, following the tradition, things go to the wrong direction and the crewmen die in some new gory and creative ways – except our heroine Shaw who now officially replaces Ripley the toughest woman in the universe.

Gone is the gloomy, industrial, biomechanical world created by H.R. Giger. Ridley immerses us in a world of technological wonder, with visually stunning and believable industrial design, interface design, gorgeous and slightly unfamiliar landscapes. The first hour of the movie walks us through this world slowly, sending us from Earth to this unfamiliar landscape where the unknown lurks. The movie works on this level. Then hell unleashes. Ridley knows which buttons to push to make you jump.

I am blown away by the production design and some odd aesthetic choices. For example, the whitish-bluish giant super human (aka the engineer, space jockey) looks rather mundane at the first sight, but at time you notice a subtle creepiness about their facial structure, that they look like a marble sculpture of a greek mythical deity. Ridley also makes great casting decisions – Fassbender is intriguing as David the android with an ambiguous agenda; Noomi Rapace is the hottest item and a novelty who will shine anyway in every movie she’s in.

If you are expecting a philosophical quest like 2001: A Space Odyssey, look elsewhere. Prometheus feels grand, but works like what Ridley does best – a highly polished sci-fi/horror thriller with good taste. And nobody does it better than Sir Ridley Scott.

Prometheus is directed by Ridley Scott, written by Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof, starring Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green and Michael Fassbender.