Last night I saw Prometheus in 3D, on its second night of showing here in the UK. It doesn’t release in the States until June 8th (usually the other way round – us Brits often have to wait weeks after the Americans have seen movies!)
I was interested in seeing it because the film promised to deliver on both the themes of technology and spirituality.
In a nutshell, the movie is about this: “Set in the late 21st century, the story centers on the crew of the spaceship Prometheus as they follow a star map discovered among the remnants of several ancient Earth civilizations. Led to a distant world and an advanced civilization, the crew seeks the origins of humanity, but instead discovers a threat that could cause the extinction of the human race.” (Source)
As a massive fan of the Matrix, I was interested in Prometheus’ focus on ‘trying to discover where humanity came from’. The basis of the story was inspired by Swiss author Erich von Däniken and his theory about ancient astronauts coming from an alien planet, as described in his book Chariots of the Gods.
My only concern was that it might be too scary. The box office said it’s genre was ‘science fiction horror’ with ‘gore’. This almost stopped me from going as I’m pretty sensitive when it comes to anything scary or violent.
Here’s my review – with pretty much zero spoilers!
- The good news is, that it didn’t scare me at all. So on that basis, I doubt whether it would scare any adult! It’s definitely not suitable for kids though.
- There are a few scenes of ‘gore’ but frankly they were pretty unbelievable and I just shut my eyes.
- In 3D there are some beautiful moments related to seeing the solar system.
- I really resonate with their quest to figure out the answers to our origins as humans. That for me, is a believable reason to travel across the universe and risk life and limb.
- I love the idea that in the future, space travel will be easy. Some of the machinery on board the ship is amazing too – like a pod that can perform surgery on you, without needing any human to operate it.
- I’m intrigued by the idea of cryogenically freezing people, then waking them up years later. I quite fancy that myself :)
- One of the main reasons I saw it was because I’m interested in the idea of creating robotic people. One of the characters, David, is a robot (you know this from the start) and you see him looking sad when people make statements about him, like “he doesn’t have a soul” or “he can’t feel emotion”.
- It’s amazing to see how talented and powerful robotic people could become; the human rely on him to decode ancient writing, speak to the ‘aliens’ and to look after their health and wellbeing. It’s easy to imagine that beings able to learn vastly more information than we can, via computer enhanced ‘brains’, who are much stronger physically than us (as we made them so), could actually be a threat to us in the end.
- It was interesting to see the theme of Christian faith portrayed in the movie. The lead female, Dr Shaw, was shown to be a Christian, clutching a cross necklace at numerous moments. She spoke of having ‘strong faith’. That faith was deeply tested throughout the film, which I thought was honest and authentic. As the film nears it’s end, she reclaims her cross necklace (it had been taken away) and puts it back on to the surprise of her robotic colleague. Even in the face of all she endured, she was still sticking to her beliefs. Most movies are keen to show Christians losing their faith, so I thought it was fascinating to see her clinging on to her’s. When asked how she still believed in God in the face of the reality of these aliens, she simply says “well, someone has to have made THEM”. Good point.
- Another powerful theme in the movie related to giving your life for something that matters. I was moved that people could be so quickly willing to do this.
- The trailer makes the movie seem WAY scarier than it is; with the repeated human screams, and the image of the woman’s face looking so terrified. This is not a genuine summary of the film and seems like a tactic just to try and get people who like scary movies to go watch it!
- In one scene someone undergoes serious surgery then is somehow able to run around fighting…not very believable!
- The philosophical themes weren’t really explored in much depth. It’s an amazing concept though, to go on a quest to find your origins – and the end of the movie and the woman’s decision (won’t say any more, so not to spoil the story) prove just how strong that desire is.
- If you’ve seen the movie “Alien” then you’ll already have seen these horrible creatures bursting out from inside people. That whole concept is pretty gross and I”m not a fan of it. Ewwwwww.
- The movie felt a little long – I think it could have been a bit shorter and still included all the vital scenes. I wonder sometimes if movies choose to be 2 hours long just to ‘feel epic’?! I felt the same way about Avatar – brilliant movie but just too long.
- I didn’t think the female lead character (Elizabeth Shaw) was strong enough…I didn’t believe some of her scenes, especially the emotional ones. Just found myself thinking back to Alien and concluding ‘Sigourney Weaver was way better than this!’
A good movie with lots of tension, action and some interesting technological and philosophical themes. I wouldn’t see it again but I enjoyed it. And it didn’t scare me – except for the gory part where I closed my eyes! If you’re interested in cyber stuff, I think you’d like it.
As one of the writers names Lindelof expressed:
“Blade Runner might not have done well [financially] when it first came out, but people are still talking about it because it was infused with all these big ideas. [Scott] was also talking about very big themes in Prometheus. It was being driven by people who wanted the answers to huge questions”. (Source)