Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Movie with Abe: Prometheus

Directed by Ridley Scott
Released June 8, 2012

There’s a certain tested formula to making certain science fiction movies. A diverse crew ends up trapped somewhere in deep space as they start meeting an unknown enemy with abilities far beyond their own. There are some believers onboard, and others that doubt that there is any real danger - those are, of course, the first to die. This standard was established by films like director Ridley Scott’s “Alien” in 1979, and it works just as well today, in films like this that thrill and chill just as much while boasting astonishing cinematography and visual effects.

What’s most crucial in updating an old-age format is a positive and creative vision of the future. “Prometheus” sets most of its action in 2093, as a crew of seventeen awakens from cryostasis after two years to find themselves on a scientific expedition to find an alien race that may have created humankind. Their ship is massive and filled with the most modern, and more importantly, futuristic technology, and the landscapes on the planet are awe-inspiring and magnificent. It may be a familiar story with expected twists and turns, but when it’s told in such an elegant, invigorating fashion, it’s well worth another version.

The characters aboard the mission are also quite recognizable – the firm believer scientist (Noomi Rapace), the doubtful scientist (Logan Marshall-Green), the cocky pilot (Idris Elba), the humorless corporate commander (Charlize Theron), and, of course, the robot (Michael Fassbender). The character tropes are perfect for this particular story, as its terror comes from the disparity of beliefs and degrees of panic expressed by the various personalities. Casting strong international actors works to the film’s advantage since it makes them more three-dimensional, adding superb acting to a film in which that’s hardly essential.

“Prometheus” deserves special commendation for Fassbender, who had a banner year in 2011 playing a sex addict and Magneto in the newest X-Men movie. Here, he plays cyborg David with the utmost specificity, moving around awkwardly but excitedly and smiling at even the smallest of intriguing words or events. His curiosity knows no bounds, and he’s by far the most interesting character in the entire film. That said, the whole cast, including Rapace, who earned her fame from the Swedish version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” is on their best behavior. Over thirty years after he made his first classic sci-fi film, Ridley Scott has done it again with this engaging, compelling, and truly cool trip back into space where, once again, no one can hear you scream.


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