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article imageReview: Prometheus a visual feast, sci-fi fans will love Alien clues Special

By David Silverberg     Jun 2, 2012 in Entertainment
Don't just call it an Alien prequel. Ridley Scott's stunning Prometheus carries more weight than the typical sci-fi flick, thanks to many questions left unanswered and powerful acting from Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace.
You can't escape the marketing juggernaut of Prometheus, with its ominous trailer overcoming TV audiences from Oxford to Vancouver. If there's any film worth giving in to, it's Scott's latest blockbuster living up to all the buzz.
It's magnificent to watch. It arrests your attention right from the opening scene. Several actors pull through with some truly staggering performances. It's a smart movie that will force you to think hard about the motives of the main characters. This is far from the cheesy sci-fi fare Hollywood usually throws our way.
A scene from the film Prometheus  in theatres June 8
A scene from the film Prometheus, in theatres June 8
Courtesy 20th Century Fox
Without giving away any spoilers, I'll merely outline what many already know: a team of explorers from a futuristic Earth sail into space with the mission to find the origins of mankind. Two archaeologists, Shaw (Noomi Rapace, from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), are joined by a ragtag crew of geologists, space adventurers and bodyguards to learn about an alien race who may have sown the seeds for all humanity. The Weyland Corporation funds this fact-finding mission to the system’s habitable moon and the Weyland exec on board (Charlize Theron) is as icy as Nurse Ratched, with a more eye-pleasing frame. Theron hints at evil motivations behind this mission.
A scene from the film Prometheus  in theatres June 8. Here Charlize Theron and Idris Elba are helmin...
A scene from the film Prometheus, in theatres June 8. Here Charlize Theron and Idris Elba are helming the Prometheus ship
Courtesy 20th Century Fox
Also on board is a robot named David (Fassbender) who is eerily reminiscent of Ash (Ian Holm) from Alien. David doesn't betray too much emotion when he carries out his own opportunities to shatter the calm on their ship (appropriately named Prometheus) but in some moments a small downturn of a frown or a glint in the eye betray more than just wires and gears. Fassbender, who seems to be getting better every movie, does a remarkable job playing the icy android whose actions are central to the film's storyline.
What if the whole sci-fi/robot thing doesn't intrigue you. See Prometheus simply for the visual buffet, because there's nothing like it. Shot in 3-D, the film works beautifully using the movie technology, especially during scenes when characters use mind-blowing gadgets showing 3-D images. Plus, some CGI'd scenes of planetary horizons will capture your breath with a single camera pan.
A scene from the film Prometheus  in theatres June 8
A scene from the film Prometheus, in theatres June 8
Courtesy 20th Century Fox
The action carries the film with a hot pace. If you're the queasy type, you might be watching some scenes through shaky hands. Of note, Rapace is involved in a cringer that will soon become as horrifically legendary as the creature-bursting-from-the-chest clip in Scott's Alien. She is also brilliant in other scenes that test her resolve, both physically and mentally. This is definitely her break-out role that could vault her into Hollywood action star (although I think she could excel in dramas that call for challenging opportunities).
And speaking of the sci-fi classic, Prometheus includes many hints at how it spins in the Alien universe without hitting us over the head with them; so for the truly ardent Alien trilogy fan, Prometheus doesn't disappoint.
Religion, mythology, Darwinism and philosophy all have co-starring roles in Prometheus. Intelligent movie-goers will see a layer beyond the special effects glitz; they'll revel in a film that leaves many questions unanswered, in a spell-binding kind of way. When the credits roll, you'll be scrambling to online forums (like I did) to learn what other theories fans are positing on what the ending means, the significance of the opening scene and much more. That's what an excellent film does - leaves many threads open-ended so you can sew your perspective on this stunning imaginary universe.
Prometheus opens June 8, 2012.
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