Great Scott’s new space odyssey

2012-06-08 11:16

Film: Prometheus (Nu Metro)

Director: Ridley Scott

Featuring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender

Rating: 8/10

Douglas Adams’s absurd frolic through space, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, yielded the answer to the ultimate question about life, the universe and everything else. It was 42.

Ridley Scott’s prequel to his space horror masterpiece Alien is far more concerned with the specifics of those ultimate questions.

The Prometheus of the title is a spaceship named after the Greek titan whose claim to fame is having stolen fire from Zeus to give to humankind.

He is also the Greek god latterly associated with human endeavour, and Mary Shelley named Prometheus as the blueprint for Frankenstein, a story about overreaching the limits of the human experience and the fallout from that.

This film explores the same theme – how far should we strive to go? How much to know? Are we able to live with the consequences of ultimate knowledge?

Two idealistic scientists find the latest in a series of ancient and intriguing cave paintings on The Isle of Skye that offer a map to a far off universe and planet they believe is where our makers came from.

In no time a corporate has gathered the capital needed to fly the pair beyond the final frontier.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’s Noomi Rapace is Dr Elizabeth Shaw, who hopes to meet her maker and ask some probing questions about the evolution of the human race.

Styled like a young Ripley, the alien-butt-kicking heroine of Alien, she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for.

Charlize Theron is the tough-as-nails corporate in charge whose motives are suspect, while the rest of the crew are a gaggle of geologist, biologists and a robot named David (Michael Fassbender).

David is perhaps the most interesting character on board.
When this disparate crew reaches the planet of legend it seems deserted, but you and I know better.

So begins Scott’s return to the outer reaches of our primal fear.

Although there are some truly gruesome moments and a good few leap-out-of-your-seat ones, Prometheus is more adventure than horror.

This prequel is, I guess, a set-up – albeit a good set-up – for a fleet of movies that bring us full circle to Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley and how she ended up in hand-to-tentacle combat with a parasitic extraterrestrial in the first place.

»Follow me on Twitter @GayleMahala

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