Sunday, May 21, 2017

Movie Review: Prometheus

The first prequel to the alien franchise brings us back to the origins of the xenomorph and explains the figure and ship spotted in the first and second film. We are introduced to the "Engineers" as one of them drinks a black liquid and disintegrates into a waterfall. Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) discovers ancient artifacts with her fellow researcher Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green). Funded by Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the researchers sent out on the Prometheus to explore the planet where the artifacts led. Manning the ship why the crew sleeps is David (Michael Fassbender), an android with his own feelings and opinions.

The Prometheus is captained by Janek (Idris Elba) but the mission is run by Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) who clash at what to do but also have sexual tension. The group finds a structure on the planet and immediately explores it where they find one of the dead Engineers and strange egg-like vases. They bag the head of the Engineer and head back to the ship before a storm hits but two researchers Fifield (Sean Harris) and Millburn (Rafe Spall) are left behind and lost. Dr. Shaw needs to be rescued by David in the storm to save the head, which they then experiment on to make explode. Testing the DNA, they find it matches human DNA. David confers with a sleeping Weyland and puts the black substance in a drink for Charlie.

Fifield and Millburn are attacked by a strange snake alien that bleeds acid. Charlie wakes up sick with worms in his eyes. The group goes out to find their missing crew members but Holloway collapses. David goes off on his own and finds a living Engineer stowed away and room very similar to the one in the first Alien. They bring Holloway back but due to quarantine, Vickers torches him as he requests. Shaw is brought to the medical ward and informed by David that she is pregnant. The thing inside her is growing at a rapid rate. In one of the more gruesome scene, Shaw uses the medical hub to cut out the creature.

The crew finds Fifield sitting impossibly in front of the exit hatch. The zombie kills the crewmembers with superhuman strength until it is torched by Janek, run over, and shot repeatedly. Shaw doses herself with anesthetics and finds Weyland waking up to meet his maker. Janek has figured out the Engineers' plan and explains it to Shaw but she is still set on talking to them with Weyland. They talk to the Engineer but he just gets angry and kills any who come near, ripping David apart. Shaw escapes and tells Janek to fly the ship into the alien ship, which is heading to Earth to end humanity.

The ship crashes and smashes Vickers leaving Shaw alone, but David is still functional. Shaw is pursued by the angry Engineer into the lifeboat where the creature from her stomach has grown. She opens the door as the Engineer attacks her, and the creature, a giant face-hugger, grabs the Engineer. Shaw packs up David's head and body and finds another alien ship to explore the galaxy. The final shot gives us the birth of the xenomorph. The film feels a bit disjointed but has some great special effects and enough movie stars to dazzle onscreen. Ridley Scott returns to the franchise to add to the backstory of the first film finally explaining the mystery behind the species with the burst chest. I look forward to viewing this film again in the light of the new sequel out now.

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