If it's crap ... We'll tell you
If we get an “invitation” from aliens, let’s treat it exactly like a Facebook invite from someone you barely know and ignore that shit…and remember to defriend them.
It’s been a good long while since Ridley Scott has made me excited in my pants. The man has made a fantastic name for himself in the past decade as the director for gritty or historical dramas, and oddly working with Russell Crowe like five times. But the man was also known for helping herald in an age of mature, pensive, and sometimes pant-shittingly terrifying science fiction movies. His crown jewels for this genre are Blade Runner (one that has SEVEN versions of the film) and of course, Alien. And after two decades of silence in this genre, Scott comes back with Prometheus, and god DAMN does it kick ass.
“This looks like a completely inviting and not at all ominous locale”
We follow the exploits of the crew of Prometheus, an intergalactic spaceship capable of interstellar travel, as they travel to a far off moon to search for the alien creators of humans. So, they’re basically searching for God but they’re doing it way more hardcore than any Evangelical’s journey. Aboard the crew are a pair of married archaeologists (Noomi Rapace and Guy Pearce), a deadpan corporate woman (Charlize Theron), a smart ass pilot (Idris Elba), and an off-putting android named David (Michael Goddamn Fassbender). But as the crew searches the moon for their creators, they stumble upon a terrifying secret…a horrible, body-invading, grotesque, and fucked-up secret.
Remember my complaints about Men in Black 3? Okay, specifically my complaint at how paper thin the science fiction was? Prometheus shows Will Smith how it’s fucking done. All the technology, both human and alien, are carefully explored and explained. There’s a reason behind all of it, and you can see how it would exist besides for that ONE situation the movie calls for. What’s most interesting about the science fiction is what they DON’T tell you.
What I mean is that the film is telling a story within the movie without any words. You’re supposed to infer the answer to these questions because it was written deliberately vague. Too often I’ve seen films leave gaping questions that are never addressed due to lazy writing. The characters of this film pose those questions, so we’re left to work with them to figure it out. And Christ, there’s some dark stuff to figure out.
Preferably with acid
See, the crew finds several of the aliens already dead. They slowly piece together what wiped them out, but it’s nothing savory. This is where the all important horror elements pop up in the form of body invasions. Creatures penetrate and violate the humans in disturbing ways, serving as a twisted metaphor for sexual assault the way Alien did. Yes,Alien has VERY strong rape metaphors, but few think about it that way because the violation was happening to a man.All of this is intentional.
This next paragraph is going to get graphic and it’s not-at-all humorous, but I still want to talk about it because it’s such a critical part of the film. Rape is the most disgusting crime anyone can commit on another human being. It’s absolutely revolting, leaving nightmares in the minds of several people (usually women). But both Prometheus and Alien subtly allude to this atrocity with it’s tentacle-like monstrosities that slowly corrupt the bodies of their victims via non-consensual or forcible ways. And to take the horror to its natural conclusion in the way women fear getting pregnant as a result of a rape, both films feature a violent insemination and birth of a destructive creature.
To offset the mood, here’s a picture of puppies
Consequently, this is how Prometheus shares the “DNA” of Alien as Ridley Scott so coyly alluded to in the billions of interviews he did in promoting the film. While you do see at the end of the movie that this whole movie was actually a prequel in disguise of the original Alien, I was more impressed that they took the original themes of body invasion, horror, and speculative science fiction to make something new and interesting.
All of this is held together by an exceptional cast featuring some of my favorite actors and actresses. Much kudos to Noomi Rapace (aka the ORIGINAL Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) for carrying the lead. However, a friend and I discussed that she seemed a LOT like Ripley from the Alien series. She’s athletic, intelligent, quick on her feet to get out of a shitty situation, and she suffers a similar fate that Ripley faced regarding the Aliens (fans of the series should know). Nonetheless, Rapace did a great job with the role, with Elba, Pearce, and Theron giving great supporting roles to complement her.
But the best performance goes to Michael Fassbender. Now Fassbender has been kicking major ass lately with awesome roles in Inglourious Basterds, X-Men: First Class, andShame. Once again, he brings so much life into a character who’s actually supposed to be an emotionless robot. What makes his performance memorable is both how smart-aleck he can be and how unnerving he is. He walks and talks like a human, but he’s missing…something. A soul? An emotion? It’s hard to nail down, but you can tell something’s off about him, a fact that every character reacts to appropriately.
Every time he smiles, a puppy dies of fear
As icing on the cake, the script is solid and the special effects use a combination between real world locations, practical effects, and computer images to create a very realistic and very believable science fiction flick. Add in the fact that the story’s tense and thought-provoking, and you have an amazing film.
Bottom line: see this movie in theaters. Is 3D necessary? Probably not. But the classic 2D format is still great looking, so definitely check it out. And get ready to squirm though some thoroughly messed up scenes.
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