Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” demands to be seen. A precisely crafted piece of science-fiction, it requires active reflection on the part of the audience and will disappoint if taken in at face value. Scott has made a movie meant for theaters and the format in which it was made, 3-D.
Whether you love it or hate it, “Prometheus” will spark passionate conversation, and that alone merits a trip to the movie theater.
Here are our five spoiler-free reasons to see “Prometheus.”
Let’s get this out of the way since, while the 3-D does have an overall positive effect on the film, there’s too much else going on here to linger on it. See “Prometheus” in 3-D. This is coming from a fierce opponent of the technology. Scott masterfully shot the film digitally with 3-D cameras, instead of resorting to post-conversion, and did so deliberately, creating some of the most rapturous images the technology has ever produced. We’re talking about material on par with and occasionally topping the best uses of 3-D and comparable to Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo.”
The very first images of “Prometheus” complete two difficult tasks in a matter seconds. First, they silence those skeptical about the use of 3-D. Then, the scenes prove beyond a doubt that Ridley Scott, the visionary that dreamt up some of science-fiction’s longest lasting images, has not lost his touch. Though the overall effect of “Prometheus” will divide the audience right down the middle, Scott clearly and almost defiantly reclaims his place as a master of the genre. The film’s shortcomings (shaky story and character details) are so easily overlooked and even forgotten when a director is working at the level that Scott’s on here.
Scott’s achievements in “Prometheus” go far beyond the aesthetics. His steadied hand for scene construction makes the movie one of the most compulsively watchable films in recent memory. One scene, in particular, will certainly stand out for fans as the film’s most gruesome, yet it will linger in the mind of the audience for hours, days and weeks afterward not just because of the content but because of how masterfully Scott composed the scene. Any hack director can project a grisly image on the screen, but it takes a talent like Scott to make it stay with you and unsettle you.
Michael Fassbender’s excellence in “Prometheus” is the film’s least surprising element. Of course, he turns in a nuanced, scene-stealing turn as David, the crew’s android assistant. We could have put money on him delivering the film’s best lines in his own unique way. There’s a reason Fassbender has gone from an anonymous set of abs in “300” to one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood. No matter what the role, he commits in a way that is always entertaining and—predictably—always surprising.
The boldness of “Prometheus” does not limit itself to style, scale, or R-rated material. In the tradition of Scott’s own “Blade Runner,” “Prometheus” is epic, ideas-driven science-fiction of a bygone era. Questions are posed, explored, but not necessarily answered, a quality which many have faulted “Prometheus” for possessing. We’re already seeing critics and bloggers antagonizing co-writer and “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof because of the lack of definitive answers, an ironic complaint, considering the central themes of the film. Like “Blade Runner” and its ambiguity surrounding the nature of Deckard, part of the appeal of “Prometheus” rests on the void left by unanswered questions, which exists to deliberately deepen the entertainment, not to detract from it.
What did you think of “Prometheus”? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!