It was the news that sent the deafening sound of keyboard taps across the Internet: Ridley Scott would finally make a (not quite) prequel to the seminal Alien…Prometheus. Now, nearly 30 years later, not unlike Prometheus’ two protagonists, we want to travel the universe to find some answers.
There is no way in hells any self-respecting Alien fan is going to forgo the opportunity to catch Prometheus and it does seem Ridley’s it-is-but-it-isn’t answers in earlier interviews were pretty much true.
There’s no denying the Director’s eye for detail and it’s clear from his latest offering he’s still on point. All the practical buttons and bulkheads make you feel like your on a fully functioning ship, much like the Nostromo. The vivid textures also echo what’s gone before while still keeping you guessing, whether it be the remains of icky-goo on walls or the bone like exoskeleton of the Space Jockeys. However, what it doesn’t conjure is that desperate feeling of dread that was the staple of the terrible Xenomorph lurking around every corner, ready to punch a whole in your face. Without giving anything away the contrast of elegant realism, often makes some action beats a little B-Movie-Beasties even for the most die hard of fans,
Echoes too are apparent in the cast. Most of which do what’s required of them and act their way around a pretty poor script. There are lofty themes of gods, creation and philosophical why’s and wherefores thrown in, but then they are left for the next luscious set-piece. It's like a narrative equivalent of ADHD, meaning you're set adrift unable to find an anchor. You may never have liked the Space Trucking crew of the Nostromo or the murderers and rapists of Fiorina 161, but at least they had a bit of charm and heart. Here the crew kind of mull around without the remotest spark of charisma. That being said, there is a real coup in Michael Fassbender’s Android David; The perfect mix of subtle innocence and calculated menace.
All-in-all it just doesn’t quite hang together. The threads are in no way hard to follow, but it’s hard to decide which one you should. The world is completely believable, even if some of the plot devices aren’t. Ther's even some genuine thrills to be had, but they get quickly undermined by unconvincing plot points and beasties.
3* - Chest-burst testament