EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: "Prometheus." Want to be a film fan? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 1/2 stars out of 4
As a sci-fi movie fan, I was very hyped up to see Ridley Scott's "Alien" prequel, "Prometheus." To get the full effect, I even paid extra to see it on IMAX in 3-D. It was definitely worth it, too. The scenic views from Earth, space and the alien planet were just breathtaking.
The movie takes place in 2093 and centers on a theory by a couple of archeologists, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), that humans were genetically created by an alien race called "Engineers." They discover cave paintings that point them to a distant planet that may hold the answer to the age old questions of "Who created us?" and "Why are we here?"
A team is assembled and funded by the Weyland Corporation (same sinister company in the original "Alien" movie) for the expedition to the distant moon LV-223. In tune with the other "Alien" movies, the team has an android human, David, played perfectly by Michael Fassbender, who has his own agenda and the cold, dark corporate suit Meredith Vickers played by Charlize Theron.
The story has a great build up to pinnacle moments throughout the movie as the team explores a temple and alien ship finding horrors at every turn. The ending is satisfying and definitely leaves the door open for a sequel. Besides a few flaws in the storyline and some questionable actions by a few of the other characters, "Prometheus" delivers the goods. The special effects are big and spectacular and the acting is superb by all the main characters. It's a definite must-see for all who like sci-fi and action movies.
-- Ken Gamble, Lawrenceville
3 1/2 stars out of 4
(A Champion of Greek mythology and the quest for scientific knowledge, regardless of the consequences)
Considering all of the recent remakes, sequels and prequels Hollywood has made for us lately, it was almost inevitable that there would be a prequel to "Alien." Unlike most of the other dull efforts, however, this movie is an outstanding technical achievement, mixed with a very interesting story, some very believable actors and some breathtaking special effects.
Fans of the original "Alien" movie, (not the weak sequels), will appreciate the fact that Ridley Scott is now back involved, and creates the story of a space exploration with a goal to discover the origins of mankind on Earth. Once they arrive at their destination, the voyage goes very badly.
Noomi Rapace (the original "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") is a standout as a Sigourney Weaver (Ripley)-type character. Charlize Theron plays the ice cold corporate representative in charge of the mission, but takes almost a secondary role. The real scene-stealer is Michael Fassbender ("Inglourious Basterds") as the deliberate, quietly menacing android David, who serves his maker without reservation.
Even though it is eventually obvious that the story is the foundation for what is to come later involving the crew of the Nostromo ("Alien"), this is an outstanding movie that could easily stand on its own merits as the dazzling achievement that it is.
Great fun if you're a sci-fi fan, with some scenes that are a little too grisly for the kids. More than well worth the price of admission.
-- Steve Kalberg, Lawrenceville
2 1/2 stars out of 4
"Prometheus" is at times a bit confusing but, overall, it is a satisfying prequel to the "Alien" franchise. It does the job of explaining where the alien originated from in the first "Alien" movie but if you get up for a popcorn refill at the wrong time, you will miss the crux of the story. It is not fraught with wild alien/human action; in fact, the first half of the movie is on the quiet side while the second half is more frenetic. The scenery in the opening sequence is quite stunning and the overall CGI is well done.
The highlight of "Prometheus" is Noomi Rapace (of the original Dragon Tattoo trilogy), who shines in the starring role; she really does an outstanding job. Michael Fassbender, as David the robot, is also good.
I like Guy Pearce, who is unrecognizable as Peter Weyland, but I found his and Charlize Theron's performances underwhelming; both roles could have been given to lesser-known actors or even unknowns.
This is an entertaining movie on its own but more so if you are familiar with any or all of the other "Alien" movies.
-- Francine Benoit, Lawrenceville