For all the its not another sequel to Alien/Aliens/Alien3/Alien Resurection but a film in the same Universe Prometheus has a lot to live up to. Having Ridley Scott, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba and Guy Pearce attached along with a inspired by HR Giger credit also raises expectations.
It does some things well and some things less well.
It has some interesting and some less interesting characters. I know that wandering accents have spoilt it for some people but that didn’t bother me too much. I particularly liked Idris Elba’s Janek because he took what time he had on screen and made the character interesting. Not quite sure why they needed Guy Pearce in all that makeup to play someone old unless they plan on having him come back in a prequel or thought that lent some weight to the idea he might find regeneration / eternal life. If the later was the idea it was a bit too clever of an idea as we’re pretty used to a character at different ages being played by similar looking actors after 100+ years of cinema.
It has the Alien universe look down nicely while taking it in new directions. The CG was nicely done especially as the same environment on the planet was seen over and over so had to stand up to examination from different angles and positions. The creature CG was good although the humanoid aliens were just a bit too obviously CG.
Not really sure that you need to wait till the fifth film in a universe to start throwing around big questions that are left unanswered. I know some of it was sort of hovering there before but Prometheus spells out in big letters that it’s all about a Chariots of the God style where humans in the alien universe come from and where the aliens come from. The Alien sequence of films have a strong thread running through them about Ripley trying to survive whatever is thrown at her. Compared to that Prometheus is all over the shop with multiple plot threads. Sure there are corporate conspiracies and agendas in the Aliens films but this is just a bit too bonkers. I left the film feeling like they’d set out to make a film that needs a sequel to answer the questions it asked but I really didn’t care too much what the answers are.
This may be a film in the Alien universe but not in that series but it’s also not The Archers. There were going to be horror, shock and gore. Body horror has always been part of the mix and if that isn’t your thing this isn’t the film for you.
Overall I’m glad I’ve seen Prometheus but I’ll not be rushing to pick up the DVD and might not bother with a sequel unless it’s clear from the reviews it’s not the middle of a trilogy.