I shielded myself from almost all media regarding Prometheus. As soon as I heard Ridley Scott was making a semi-prequel follow-up to Alien, I knew I wanted to see the movie. I didn’t want any premature expectations going into it.
I came away thinking it was the best science-fiction movie to come out in the last decade (at least). Scott took the same basic plot structure and similar archetypes from the original Alien and builds on it in almost every way.
A sci-fi movie taking place in the future rises and falls on making me believe the technology there could exist. Alien made its technology believable by making the ship big and dirty, rather than sparklingly clean. The crew were like a bunch of long-haul truckers piloting a big rig. The ship wasn’t pretty at all.
The technology imagined for Prometheus succeeds in a different way. It blends technology we currently have with that which is just on the horizon. The devices use touch interfaces like an iPhone, but rather than plastic or metal, they’re thin blocks of glass. Holographic projections, seen throughout the movie, are already being researched and may soon be seen in real products.
Obviously we’re nowhere near having hypersleep or deep-space travel as shown, but I think we accept those technologies as tropes of the genre. We’ve seen them not only in the original Alien series, but in many other space movies. Will we have them in the next 80 years? It’s not beyond believability. Imagine showing someone an iPad eighty years ago.
And of course, I have to mention Michael Fassbender’s performance as David, the most recent in the line of strong Synthetic performances. I like how he brings a quasi-humanity to the allegedly soulless android role.
If I had one complaint about Prometheus, it would be that I wish it had ended with a more clear-cut path to the beginning of Alien. The pieces were there, but it didn’t all quite come together. Who knows, maybe they’ll make Prometheuses to bridge the gap.