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June 14, 2012

Prometheus looks for answers and succeeds in sparking conversations. love it or hate it you will want to talk about it.  It is a philosophical science fiction film that shares the same DNA as The Grey. They are both films that question life, death and survival. However, they were marketed as slam-bang wolf punching terror. They were never meant to be huge. They were personal films made by two capable directors.

Prometheus is about two scientists searching for the engineers who created life. One uses faith the other science. The problem is that you don’t always want to find the answers because the answers will kill you and provide the DNA for the Alien series.

The reason this film will not go down is a classic is simple. The top six thriller films according to AFI are Psycho, Jaws, Exorcist, North by Northwest, The Silence of the Lambs and Alien. These films feature people who are doing their job or are in over their heads. Their motives are not filled by greed, power or selfishness. They are dealing with the situations they’ve been handed. Thus, you support the characters because they are doing what they have to do. Prometheus focuses on the gains of several people and you dont have the connection with the characters like you do in Jaws or Alien.

Michael Fassbender steals the show as the android David 8. He is the wild card in a ship full of personalities. Is he like Ash from Alien or Bishop from Aliens? Regardless of his motives he is the catalyst for all the chaos.

Noomi Rapace holds up in the physical scenes. Logan Marshall-Green is appropriately confident. The supporting characters are good but inconsequential. The most engaging character moments happen between Idris Elba’s smooth captain and Charlize Theron’s icy supervisor.

Another reason why Prometheus will never be a classic is because of the occasional head scratching choices the crew makes. Why take off your helmet while in an alien built catacomb? Also, there are a couple of moments I want to mention but for spoiler sake I will not. These choices do not matter in the long run (they would die anyway) but they do take you out of the story.

What Prometheus excels at is creating a beautiful look and eerie mood. The practical sets blend perfectly with the CGI and there is always a sense of dread. The look and practical sets achieve a look rarely achieved on-screen. The movie lived up to the visual hype that has been building in my mind.

Prometheus swings for the fences and almost gets there. However, that “almost” is enough. I’d rather watch a film with hiccups that attempts to build a world. Many movies simply try to manage expectations and keep a ship afloat. Prometheus asks big questions, provides memorable visuals and has given the populace an adult science fiction film to discuss.

If you go and watch Prometheus on IMAX 3D make sure your IMAX glasses are clean. They recycle the glasses and they have smudges. I was plagued by the smudges while watching John Carter. I made sure the glasses were cleaned this time. The lady at the ticket drop was cool and cleaned them again. Thus, the viewing was smudge free. Don’t be afraid to ask for them to be cleaned.

Enjoy Prometheus. Watch it and comment.

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