Prometheus – Revisited – FILM 2012 – NETFLOWERS Review of Alien Prequel (SPOILERS)

 

SPOILER REVIEW  — WARNING  – LOADED WITH SPOILERS

Millions of years ago, the spacecraft of an advanced humanoid alien race arrives on Earth. One of the aliens consumes a dark liquid, causing its body to disintegrate and fall into a nearby waterfall. We see its DNA break down and recombine, seeding Earth with the building blocks of life. When I first watched this I was not sure if it was Earth that was being portrayed.

In the year 2089 on the Isle of Skye off the shore of Scotland, archaeologist couple Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and her boyfriend Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover a star map in a cave which they record among the remnants of several otherwise unconnected ancient cultures. They interpret this as an invitation from humanity’s forerunners. Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the elderly founder and CEO of the Weyland Corporation, funds the creation of the scientific deep space research vessel called the USS Prometheus to follow the map to the distant moon of LV-223 several light years from Earth.

The ship’s crew travels in hibernation stasis at light speed while the android David (Michael Fassbender) stays awake at the pilot control to monitor their entire voyage. In 2093, the ship arrives in the orbit around LV-223 (note: it is not the same planet first seen in the 1979 movie ‘Alien‘ as confirmed by Ridley Scott in an interview with Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode on Friday June 1st on BBC radio 5 live. ‘Alien’ is set on LV-426). After being awakened from hibernation, the crew are informed of their mission to find the ancient aliens, called “Engineers” whom may be the original humans. They also view a holographic message from Weyland himself, who tells them about his funding for the mission and that he has since died. It seems a bit strange that they would not have been told that information before they left on their journey. We also learn that the crew members do not know each other prior to waking up after arriving at LV-223. That is also very strange. But not so strange as to take away from the movie.

Mission director Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) orders them to avoid any direct contact and to return if the aliens are found. The Prometheus lands near an alien structure (resembling a large temple-like pyramid) and a team including Shaw, Holloway, and David explores it, while Vickers and Captain Janek (Idris Elba) remain aboard the ship and monitor their progress. This film is layered and you will see or gather more information on subsequent viewings, for instance when the ship lands you will there is another structure of in the distance the same as the one they land near, and which plays a part or in the ending of the film.

While preparing to go out the first time to visit the Pyramid like structure they are told they cannot take any weapons. And of course you know that this is a bad idea, no weapons first time out…Duh!!! They find several cylinder-like artifacts, a monolithic statue of a humanoid head, and the decapitated corpse of a giant alien, thought to be one of the Engineers. Other bodies are later found, and the species is presumed to be extinct. David secretly returns a cylinder to the ship, while the remaining vessels in the chamber begin leaking a dark fluid. A rapidly approaching storm forces the crew to return to Prometheus, leaving crew members Milburn (Rafe Spall) and Fifield (Sean Harris) stranded in the pyramid structure after becoming lost trying to find their way out. Shaw insists they take the Engineer’s head back to the ship with them and they barely make it back alive. Crew members Milburn and Fifield have a meltdown that makes absolutely no sense at all, and in real life would probably forfeited their share or broken their contract by leaving the exploration of the structure, since they were employees, not independent contractors.

In the ship, Shaw and medic Ford (Kate Dickie, Red Road) analyze the Engineer’s head, and discover that its DNA is identical to that of the human race. Meanwhile, David investigates the cylinder and discovers a small ampoule containing a small amount of black fluid. He intentionally infects Holloway with the substance, hiding it in a drop of liquid on his finger and briefly tapping it into a glass of champagne Holloway drinks from to celebrate their discovery. Later, Shaw and the infected Holloway have sex. Holloway later looks in a mirror and sees his eyes are changing.

Back inside the structure, Fifield and Milburn are attacked by snake-like creatures. Milburn is killed, and a corrosive fluid (yellow acidic blood) from one of the creatures melts Fifield’s helmet, exposing him to the dark liquid leaking from the cylinders. These two crew members seem to drive everyone crazy because everything they do makes no sense, and they eventually kill themselves because of their own stupidity.

The next morning after the storm subsides, the Prometheus crew returns to the structure and finds Milburn’s corpse. David discovers a room containing a living Engineer in stasis and a holographic star map highlighting Earth. Holloway’s infection rapidly ravages his body, and he is rushed back to the ship. As he visibly deteriorates, Vickers refuses to let him aboard, and immolates him with a flame thrower at his own request. Which also means by movie karma, that she will not survive this movie.

A medical scan reveals that Shaw, despite being sterile, is pregnant. David subdues her to return her to Earth in stasis, but she escapes and uses an automated surgery pod in Vicker’s quarters to extract a cephalopod-like creature from her abdomen. This is where you realize that Shaw (Noomi Rapace) is really fit, Ripley has fans from the 1979 film, and Shaw will have fans for years to come. Weyland is found to have been in stasis aboard the ship; he explains to Shaw that he intends to ask the Engineers to help him avoid his impending death.

A mutated Fifield attacks the hangar bay and kills several crew members before being killed himself. Janek theorizes that the planet they are on was used by the Engineers as a military base until they lost control of their biological weapons, namely the cylinders and the black fluid they contain. The remaining crew return to the structure and awaken the Engineer, who is occupying what is discovered to be a space ship (the same design as the derelict alien space ship seen in ‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens’). David speaks to the Engineer, who responds by decapitating him and killing Weyland and Ford. Shaw escapes the alien ship as it is activated by the Engineer. The still-active David reveals it is going to release the ampoules on Earth. Vickers orders Janek to return to Earth, but Shaw convinces him to stop the Engineer’s ship. Janek and his two surviving crewmen take off and crash the Prometheus into it while Vickers flees in an escape pod. The disabled Engineer ship crashes onto the planet, falling onto Vickers, crushing her. The ship continues to tumble and nearly crushes Shaw, but she escapes.

Shaw goes to the escape pod to retrieve supplies and finds her alien offspring has grown to gigantic size. The Engineer survives the crash, enters the escape pod and attacks Shaw, who releases the tentacled creature. It subdues the Engineer by thrusting a tentacle down its throat. Shaw recovers David’s remains from the alien ship, and together they activate another Engineer ship. Shaw and the remains of android David then take off to travel to the Engineers’ homeworld in an attempt to understand why they created humanity and why they attempted to destroy it. I loved this movie and surely there is room here for a sequel. I am willing to overlook the crazy characters that did stupid things in this film, hopefully in the next film they will not repeat those type of silly characters that have melt-downs and go running back to the mother ship.

In the final shot, in the Prometheus escape pod, an alien creature (very similar but not the same as seen in later movies) bursts out of the dying Engineer’s chest.

I give this film 5 STARS out of 5. I highly recommend it.

3 comments

  1. Pingback: The Adventures of the U.S.S Starburst: An Exercise in Absurdity (Part 2) « Excursions Into Imagination

  2. Pingback: Prometheus Reviews » Robert JR Graham

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