Great science fiction stories are stories that usually ask one thing “Have we gone too far?” In Prometheus, the new film by Sir Ridley Scott, the question is “Are we about to go too far?” The movie opens with an interpretive prologue and doesn’t stop there with being vague and speculative, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Noomi Rapace’s character Dr. Elizabeth Shaw leads the way in a scientific journey to discover the origin of mankind, so her character is constantly asking the same things the audiences are as well.
But is it a good movie? Well, truly, Prometheus shouldn’t have been marketed as part of the Alien franchise. Granted it has never said that on a poster or a trailer but in interviews Scott says such things. It’s not particularly a prequel to the 1979 hit, but it does take place in that universe and before the events of Alien. Prometheus works better as a standalone film. The expectations for fans to build up will never be met and that’s specifically because they’re looking for that feeling one gets while watching Alien. But the movie is quite good! Visually stunning and some really great scenes (particularly with Michael Fassbender’s David character) that should start a nice dialog between fans considering that they’ve been debating on whether or not a character from another Scott film Blade Runner is a replicant for decades now.
Prometheus is more like John Carpenter’s The Thing than Alien. Nobody is safe from an enemy that is seldom seen. There isn’t much trust among the crew but they have to roll with it all, which hurts Prometheus because that confuses audiences while in the moment. “Why would this person do this if they just dealt with that?!” Prometheus isn’t a perfect movie cause it has those “just roll with it” moments, but it certainly isn’t a bad film whatsoever. The movie opens up questions, sets up pieces, and just leaves the room. Leaving the audience to look at those pieces that were set. If there were a sequel, (which would be called Prometheus 2 or Prometheii, not Alien) there would be a lot to jump off of and explore more definitively. Until then though, Prometheus stands alone among the Alien world and will most likely be overlooked due to taking a leap.