A recent poll taken by SFX Magazine ranked Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner as the greatest science fiction film of all-time. Scott’s Alien also fell in the top 10. His latest film Prometheus doesn’t let down, and I’d probably throw it in my top 50 sci-fi films list. I liked it not for what I thought it would be -an Alien prequel, but for the character development and acting. Michael Fassbender (as the synthetic life form David) is truly a great actor and he shines in Prometheus. I also like Noomi Rapace (Shaw), who seems everywhere right now, as a scientist (cultural anthropologist?) searching for man’s origins.
Prometheus is full of mystery, suspense, and horror elements (the strands of Alien DNA that Scott had hinted about). Like Alien and Bladerunner, the film is a masterful treatment in art direction, design and cinematography. The film is not without flaws. I found some of the characters cliched. I didn’t accept the geologist and biologist who serve one purpose in the film. We’ve seen the aging corporate asshole before too.
These are minor quibbles. I watched Prometheus in 3D at the IMAX. The opening moments grabbed me and pulled me into the alien world of giant beings, ancient ruins, space jockeys and aliens. This is grand filmmaking and pure escapist entertainment. Prometheus also succeeds in making the movie goer think.
I hate the term “visionary director”. I think Fritz Lang, Chaplin, Orson Welles and some of the French New Wave directors were visionary in terms of steering films into new territories. Scott helped reboot the horror/sci-fi genre rooted in the 50’s. Is he visionary? He now has 3 legitimate fantasy classics under his belt. Prometheus is superb. Go into the film with an open mind. The film assumes you have seen Alien, but this is not a film about the origin of the Aliens. This is about man’s search for origins.