Posted June 6, 2012 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Movies/TV

MOVIE REVIEW: Prometheus

20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. Pictures
Philippine Release: June 6, 2012
Rated R-13
124 minutes
Check out the trailer.

If there’s one thing that we human beings are unquestionably good at, it’s asking questions. If no one bothered to wonder if human beings could fly, we wouldn’t have airplanes. If no one bothered to wonder if there could be an easier way of counting, we wouldn’t have calculators – and, subsequently, computers. If no one bothered to wonder what the lovechild of Cthulhu and Madonna would look like, we wouldn’t have Lady Gaga, and so on.

As someone who was too young (and too much of a scaredy-cat) to have seen the original trilogy, Alien Resurrection, Alien vs Predator, Alien vs Predator 2: Electric Boogaloo, and every other movie that capitalized on man’s perfectly understandable fear of slimy carnivorous things with tongue-mouths that can kill your ass dead, there are only two things I know for sure: (1) those cute little face-huggers lay eggs in you that eventually hatch cute little buggers that rip your chest open, and (2) the mere fact that these terrifying things exist in the Alien universe proves that whoever created our species really, REALLY hates us.

If you can look at this and not feel that something’s wrong here, then something’s wrong with you.

Directed by the father of the franchise, Ridley Scott, and written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, Prometheus seeks to build upon the second item I mentioned. The film establishes a mythology that serves as the basis for the Alien franchise, while not standing as a direct prequel. In the distant future, a team of 17 explorers of various fields of expertise venture off into a distant solar system on board the science vessel Prometheus to find answers to the question of who – or what – created man, and why. Led by archeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charles Halloway (Logan Marshall-Green) and assisted by the very human-like robot David (Michael Fassbender), the crew discovers what could be the most significant discovery of the year, of all years – clues to how human life began. Unfortunately, their problem soon changes from “why are we here” to “how the hell do we get out of heAAAAAAAAA OH GOD MY FACE” as their scientific exploration quickly turns into a bloody and brutal race against the clock to, well, get the hell out of there.

If I had to describe Prometheus with a single phrase, it would be “space soap opera with a dose of acid saliva and plenty of horrified screaming.” There is not much action, but there is a lot of drama and set-up for the backbone of the Alien mythos. I can’t really say if that’s a good thing, but it’s not surprising – after all, it’s pretty hard to lay the groundwork for a story if all of the characters spent 124 minutes running around like crazy headless (or in this case, chest-less) chickens. I actually think this is a good thing. Remember how, at the start of this review, I mentioned that humans are really good at asking questions? Well, consider this: we tend to fear what we can’t completely visualize and understand, and thus the threat of things looming silently in the dark works better in creeping you out than, say, an hour’s worth of heads rolling and guts being sprayed all over walls. There are very few actual oh-god-it’s-behind-you scenes, but a lot of oh-man-I-can’t-look-it-MIGHT-come-out moments.


It also helps that the visuals are beautiful, and by “beautiful” I mean the kind that makes you lose about three days’ worth of lunch. The environment is harsh, unwelcoming, and full of veins and sap, and the creatures themselves look like the unloved offspring of an anaconda and the squid monster from the Watchmen comic. There is a perpetual feeling of death and decay, and we just know from the moment the crew members step off the ship that they should do a 180-degree turn, run back to their ship and just forget all this nonsense. I saw this movie in 3D, which meant I was pretty much gripping my own jacket tightly in disgust. It is a mix of sights, sounds and fake surprises that offend your senses in all the right ways.

…Man, it takes a seriously messed-up mind to even think that there’s a “right” way of offending senses.


The actors did a generally good job, with all the bickering and arguing and lovemaking and screaming that a soap opera set in space with murder reptiles should have. Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of David, in particular, was chilling. Seriously, you will alternate between wanting to strangle the guy and being downright terrified of him. He did well here – he got the walk, the talk and even the little movements right for someone who was supposed to be a humanoid robot. Charlize Theron was also a treat. I don’t know. I just saw her in Snow White and the God of Thunder last week, and seriously, there is really no such thing as too much Charlize Theron.

Yes, please.

The movie ends in a way that, of course, leaves room for a future installment, and I am looking forward to seeing the next one. Of course, what kind of Alien movie tie-in would be complete without an actual Alien horror? Given that this is a set-up movie, we see exactly how these scaly horrors came to be, and…well…inter-species breeding is definitely bad for your health, kids. On so many levels.

Just ask this guy.

If I had to rate the movie, it would be a solid 3.5/5. It’s worth watching if you’re a fan of the Alien franchise, and if you’re a newbie like me, you’ll enjoy how the movie looks and feels like.

Oh, and you’ll swear off squid.

For a long time.

A VEEEERY long time.

Mikael Angelo Francisco