Sci-fi is a rarity at the movies these days. I'm not talking about Star Trek, Star Wars or countless other clones just like them. I'm referring to the hard core sci-fi movies like 2001, Soylent Green, and others that demand not only you pay attention but that you think about what you saw afterward. And it is in this category that Prometheus soars above a lot of other terrible films this year.
I will keep this article spoiler free as this movie is one that you should experience for yourself and the issues that arise from it. It is an Alien prequel in many ways and we will leave it at that.
Eighty years from now, two archaeologists, the radiant Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw and her husband Charlie (Logan Marshall Green) find evidence of a star map from various unconnected, ancient civilizations. They convince the Weyland Corporation to fund their expedition and head out into space for a long trip. While asleep, David (Michael Fassbender) the android runs the ship, plays basketball, watches "Lawrence of Arabia" and steals dreams from the sleeping passengers.
Once at the new planet, Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) plays the power card that this expedition is under her command as her company is one the funded everything which does not go over well with the two scientists. A bevy of other scientists and soldiers are red shirt meat for what is down there on the new planet, a fact that is obvious from frame one. You know almost everyone on the ship is alien food at some point so no spoiler there.
Once there, they find a dead race of Engineers, the makers of our race. They all appear dead by some internal explosion that ripped them open. What happened to them is again obvious to anyone who has seen any Alien movie in the past. What follows are questions about God, creationism and the nature of man.
Many are pissed that the film doesn't spell out everything for you, including an intentionally vague ending. But it is these questions that will make you think about them on the ride home and beyond. This is hardcore sci-fi, the first in this series. Alien one was a horror movie, the second an action ride, the third an esoteric look at the stages of death and the fourth an abject disaster. This is sci-fi at it's best and something that is very rare in theaters today. If you like movies that will make you think, this is a doozy. Mind you, some of the characters do incredibly stupid things on occasion but that's usually par for the course in these movies. I highly recommend it regardless.
four stars out of 5