‘Prometheus,’ the new film from Ridley Scott, is a mix of ‘Alien’ prequel and remake

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

“Prometheus” is the new film from Ridley Scott set in the “Alien” universe. It’s an odd mix of prequel and remake that still manages to stand on its own, if a bit shakily.

The film follows a group of scientists as they travel to a distant alien world in search of answers. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be answers anywhere to be found, just more questions. It’s telling that Damon Lindelof who co-wrote the screenplay with Jon Spaihts also co-created “Lost.”

The film’s plot is filled to the brim with unanswered questions and mysterious events. While the film’s air of mystery really adds to the atmosphere of the first half, after a while, so many more unanswered questions come up without very much in the way of resolution that the film begins to feel tiresome.

Still, it is difficult to condemn “Prometheus” for this.

Ridley Scott is a smart filmmaker who knows his craft well. “Blade Runner” ends with the lingering question of Deckard’s humanity unanswered, and I’m not about to criticize “Blade Runner” for failing to answer enough questions. There are enough moments throughout the film that feel out of place or confusing to anticipate seeing a director’s cut released sometime soon. After all, Scott’s previous works “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Blade Runner” were vastly improved by the release of a director’s cut.

Ultimately though, I have to review the film as it is shown and leave any speculation at the door.

Despite some problems with its plot, “Prometheus” has its upsides. Ridley Scott is well known for creating worlds that feel lived-in, and this film is no exception. The atmosphere is absolutely enthralling, the visuals breathtaking.

One particularly notable aspect is the camera work. Filmmakers have used a much more close-up and intense camera style in many movies of recent years. Scott luckily avoids this and sticks to the classic techniques, giving the actors plenty of room to breathe, which works exceptionally well.

Also nice to see is the somewhat classic science fiction feel of “Prometheus.” In a day and age where most science fiction is little more than an action movie set in space, Scott brings his classic sensibilities to the genre and provides moviegoers with a truly enjoyable science fiction film.

While the film’s dialogue is mostly nothing special, some of its performances really stand out. Noomi Rapace does a nice job as this film’s equivalent to Ellen Ripley of the “Alien” franchise, and Idris Elba sells his gruff and world-weary captain character perfectly. However, it is Michael Fassbender who truly steals the show.

Michael Fassbender plays David, an android aboard the ship. His performance is a real treat to watch, as he manages to convey a not-quite-human but not-quite-machine personae, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since “Blade Runner.”

While “Prometheus” is not without its flaws, it is a memorable movie for better or worse. Whether you loved it or hated it, it’s a film that you will be talking about long after the credits roll.

In an era of strictly byte-sized entertainment, a movie that sparks discussion and debate is a refreshing experience, even if it is somewhat flawed.