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RIDLEY SCOTT DIRECTS THE ALIEN-LINKED 'PROMETHEUS'

year: 2012 rating: ***1/2
For several years it was rumored Ridley Scott was directing a prequel to ALIEN... Turned out to be a remake: A bulky spaceship full of scientists mixed with a working class crew; a crafty humanoid robot with a trick up his sleeve; a manly heroine – ring a bell?

Actually the story’s set in the ALIEN universe and the spaceship, rather than heading home, is destined for a planet with possible lifeforms.Two research scientists, including Dr. Shaw played by Noomi Repace, have discovered cave paintings with a similar theme – and a dying millionaire has backed their mission.

The ship's called PROMETHEUS and the important crew members include Michael Fassbender as David, the robot who models himself after Peter O'Toole's splendid take as Lawrence of Arabia, and Charlize Theron is the tough corporate head; you can say she's almost the captain...

Although Repace’s Shaw fills the Sigourney Weaver role, in one scene, Theron's character refuses a contaminated crewman back aboard the ship. The planet consists of a… or what seems like a… "giant cave" wherein illuminated wraiths roam while hidden slimy creatures provide the necessary body count...

Alien life?
So there are a few action scenes and the special effects, particularly in 3D, look fantastic. But the problem are the characters, none standing out or likable enough for the audience to really care about their frantic survival which, after the searching has run its course, PROMETHEUS is all about.

In the acting department, Fassbender has a nifty look but lacks the sinister charm (or importance to move the plot) of Ian Holm, Repace only shines when she’s fighting to live, Theron is more robotic than Fassbender and the scruffy crew provide filler roles. Still though, somehow, the picture works but as a b-movie rather than the sort of epic blockbuster that was probably intended: Then again, sci-fi leaning writer/director's did grow up on pulp the likes of Weird Tales, etc., and perhaps subconsciously drive their multi-million dollar vessel in a more breezy direction, and, as most already figured by cult nerds going in: since Damon Lindelhof co-wrote the script, ultimately there are fewer answers than questions in a canvas stretched beyond its paint.. And though it would be a sin to give anything really important away, the big finale twist isn’t so much connected to the story itself, but the film’s... promotion. We’ll stop there.
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