The problem with new films is how to review them without giving too much away, but I’ll do my best.
Starting with the opening sequence which has an aerial fly-by of a cold, alien landscape that was actually shot in Iceland. As the shadow of huge spaceship crosses the ground, we zoom in to a bluish, muscled humanoid alien standing at the top of an immense waterfall.
He opens a metal sphere containing some black gloop that he then swallows. Seconds later the gloop is shown inside his body attacking his DNA and a painful death ensues with him tumbling off the waterfall.
What was all that about? I have no idea as no explanation is forthcoming throughout the rest of the film and will no doubt have the sci-fi chatrooms glowing red-hot with theories for months to come.
We then switch to the Isle of Skye and the discovery of a cave painting depicting another tall, well-muscled alien, surrounded by worshiping humans, pointing at five blobs which apparently represents its solar system of origin.
The next thing we know is that two years later the exploration ship Prometheus is on its way to said planetary system to find out what all the 35,000 year old fuss is about.
But having traveled all that way, instead of landing on the planet, it puts down on one of its moons instead which turns out to be… Well it turns out to be where everything starts to go tits up.
Although Ridley Scott has played down the idea that the film is an Alien prequel, it clearly is with its cast of similar character types. Like David the android (Michael Fassbender) who was pretty good. I particularly like his and Scott’s homage to David Lean that we see early on.
But why does he deliberately cause the death of someone else on board? Again, it’s a question that doesn’t really get an answer.
Logan Marshall-Green’s is not bad as Charlie Hathaway, the smart doctor/puzzle-solver with attitude and Noomi Rapace is both his love interest and ultimately the strong woman with the guts (almost literally) to survive the alien menace.
And aren’t there a lot of them? Aliens I mean. The big, well-muscled ones who we’re told created mankind, ones that wriggle in gloop like cobras, others that run riot under your skin and one that looks like some sort of octopus.
The film is visually stunning, which is what you’d expect from Scott, and it kept my attention for its two hour span, but it lacked the pizazz of Alien and Blade Runner, two of my all time favourite sci-fi films.
This was partly due to the obliqueness of the storyline, partly down to the number of characters and their unexplained motives and partly because Nooni Rapace simply isn’t Sigourney Weaver.
No doubt my questions will be answered in the inevitable sequel.