Thursday, 19 July 2012


The Beginnings of Mankind?

There is certainly no doubt that the British film director Sir Ridley Scott has provided a great deal of entertaining cinema since he made his debut feature film in 1977, The Duellist a film set during the Napoleonic War and one that I saw at the RBC in very early days of the Film Club, others include Alien (1979) Blade Runner (1982) Gladiator (2000) Black Hawk Down (2001) American Gangster (2007) Body of Lies (2008) Robin Hood (2010) and my own personnel favourite Thelma and Louise (1991) where a waitress and a housewife take off for the weekend in a 66 Thunderbird and go on the run after shooting a rapist.

Prometheus Spacecraft.

His latest production is a return to the science fiction genre that originally made his name. Billed as a prequel to Alien, Prometheus (2012) is set before the horrifying events that take place on spacecraft Nostromo. This intriguing new film is a complex story about unearthing the origins of our universe and poses the question: are we all descendants of Aliens and therefore did they actually visit our planet to procreate the beginnings of mankind? 

Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Scott.

Our story starts in Scotland on the Isle of Skye in 2089; two Archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discover cave paintings that indicate that at the beginning of mankind aliens, known as Engineers, visited our planet. The evidence gathered points to a far away moon called LV-223. We then move on to the year 2093 and the spacecraft Prometheus lands on LV-223. The Weyland Corporation, headed up by a Robert Maxwell look alike Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), finances the journey and appoints a director in the sinister form of Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron). During the voyage an Android known as David (Michael Fassbender) guards the sleeping passengers. Upon waking, the scientific team along with the Android explore this inhospitable moon an action that leads to catastrophe, tragedy and some startling discoveries.

Michael Fassbender's spooky Android.  

This is a very watchable movie that holds your attention throughout helped, as you would expect, by some great special effects and some powerful role-playing by both the lead stars. Noomi Rapace, who was completely wasted in the dreadful Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) returns to form depicting Elizabeth Shaw from the timid God fearing young women at the start of the movie to a feisty battling one that will do anything to stay alive. But its Fassbender that steels the show as the mysterious Android who was built to resemble a human being, a creature that models himself on Peter O’Toole in the film version of Lawrence of Arabia (1962), but to me he resembles Hugo Barrett, Dirk Bogarde’s character in the Joseph Losey masterpiece The Servant (1963).

Noomi Rapace on set.

OK its not perfect and I’m sure sci-fi fans can find plenty to complain about with comparison’s to Alien raising more question’s than it answers and probably makes a sequel almost certain to bridge the narrative gap between the two films, but that in my humble opinion that’s not a bad thing. I truly enjoyed this film it does what it set’s out to do, provide an evening’s entertainment and makes a awfully good job of it.

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