BY RICK JACKSON
The mythology of man's creation is the focus of director Ridley Scott's latest directorial effort. As not a prequel to Alien (1979), although it asks the moviegoer to think more of what you saw in the latter in order to understand the way alien societies think. The consistent point of interest reverts back to it within the simple plot structure and the dialogue, especially in the scenes where a character questions why someone would create something then destroy it. The words cry for a sequel as you watch the finale in terms of where Scott will go in possible sequels.
Here is a film that provokes humans to think about creation and why a scientist would want to tinker with it. Author Mary Shelley did it with Frankenstein and Hollywood has done well with the many movies about the Frankenstein monster.
Humans lack faith to carry on and in the science fiction genre it is part of the myth that the Science Fiction Encyclopedia refers as continuous change. The role of the alien society and why it created itself is, in terms of Prometheus and Alien, is how they struggle to survive. Coming to earth, they are using humans to carry their embryos so their race will become extinct. What man fails to understand is how easily our race will someday come to an end, and it is something worth thinking about when you talk about the film afterwards.
As a movie, Scott's reason is to make it worth sitting through and he succeeds in making another marvel in science fiction and to think seriously of how we were created apart from Charles Darwin's Origin Of The Species and The Book of Genesis. Unlike Faust who sold his soul in exchange for knowledge, Scott is interested in seeing how many moviegoers will pay to see a story that subliminally asks questions you never thought you'd ask.
When one of the other worldly creatures tells a human to try harder, it is really the film director asking the question. The answer will be different for many and it will depend on your interest in the subject whether or not you just want to see if you can be scared one more time, especially if you saw Aliens in 1986.
Prometheus was a Greek god who created man from clay because he wanted to know what made him stay alive. In his own way, he also believed in man's mortality. Hollywood saw potential in the theme to gross out moviegoers and there is a definite audience for it but seeing Prometheus the film is going to be a different experience. The relationship with mythology is obscure and skin deep under the guise of the film's main purpose, and you will see in 3D images that will impress beyond Alien and its sequels. It is deliberately slow paced and throughout each character is determined to reflect on the story's main theme.
In a way, science fiction has depended on our understanding of ourselves as members of the human race, and whether or not we want to see the end of the world. The aliens conjured up in Hollywood are looking at our survival through our basic human needs for love and sex and see an opportunity to exploit them and this is particularly evident among the crew of Prometheus.
The special effects are outstanding even in 3D and there is evidence of alien life on the walls of the caves recalling our own drawings of how we lived if you remember Werner Herzog's Cave Of Forgotten Dreams.
David, the andrioid, is perfectly payed by Michael Fassbender as the one hope for man's survival, unlike the one in the original Alien which was programmed to destroy us.
Noomi Rapace injects solidarity and intelligence as Elizabeth Shaw and she is an important character to watch closely.
Charlize Theron is well cast as Meredith Vickers, who represents the company who financed the ship, Prometheus.
Marc Streitenfeld's music score, Dariusz Wolski's cinematography and Arthur Max's production design all contribute to this masterwork of science fiction.
It is rated 14A, with the warnings: frightening scenes, gory scenes and violence.
June 10, 2012
Copyright Rick Jackson 2012