Ready to dazzle your eyes and ears with high-def transmissions from Ridley Scott's outer space....?
Fox / 124 Minutes / 2012 / Rated R / Street Date: October 9, 2012
Prometheus is a movie that only works if you succumb to it, and that proves very quickly to not be all that difficult of a task. Ridley Scott's pseudo-prequel to Alien definitely dovetails into the ethos and narrative of his 1979 original (especially in its final moments), but the look and feel of the film is so vivid and unique that it absolutely stands on its own as a singular visual achievement. As this exquisitely-presented Blu-ray proves effortlessly, Scott and company have front-loaded Prometheus with some seriously impressive imagery that is all but impossible to be hypnotized by.
Yet while Prometheus' effects team absolutely wins the gold star here, there's enough going on under the hood of the movie - at least in various fits and spurts - to keep its narrative and thematic locomotion alive. Scott even gets a chance to tantalize us with a defiantly steely and cold introductory sequence in which an android Michael Fassbender oversees the dormant hypersleep of his ship's crew in the vacuum loneliness of deep space, with only ancient footage from an Earth film called Lawrence of Arabia to keep him company (he's a spitting image for ol' Larry O'Toole).
The basic tenet of Prometheus is the search for origin, and the mission at hand in the film involves the title ship zapping off to a far-away moon that anthropologist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) is convinced houses the key to bizarre cave paintings that may prove that human beings may have gotten some evolutionary help from visitors of extraterrestrial origins. They find the moon, they land, the crew heads off to check things out... and then this Ridley Scott movie becomes a Ridley Scott movie.
One's enjoyment of Prometheus will depend exclusively on how much a viewer is willing to concede. The film's screenplay maps out a sensationally evocative central idea, but gets entirely too convoluted for its own good by the time its last reel kicks in, and while the cast brought together has a solid pedigree (Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, and Logan Marshall-Green are all excellent), it ends up being more fun meeting these characters than seeing how their stories wrap up. But even if Prometheus has a hollow geode at its narrative core, its digital construction and inimitable visual presence all but compensate for it: if you can wait to find issue with its many dramatic potholes under after its closing credits run, you'll be in for an escapist sci-fi treat.