Prometheus is more than just effort. It is a top shelf Sci-Fi film. Forget all the hints and the expectations as to what it is going to be (if you haven’t seen it yet). They will only lead to consternation or disappointment. If you just watch the film as a Sci-Fi film unencumbered with notions of it being any sort of “prequel” then you will leave the theater happy.
A critic friend also gave good advice on this film. See it in 3D on the largest screen you can. It is, if nothing else, a grand looking movie (and this does not refer to the brief shot of Charlize Theron in some sort of cloth g-string).
This is not a monster movie nor is it an action film. It is not Alien or Aliens (yes I am aware Scott didn't direct Aliens). There is action, there are (maybe) “monsters” but this is first and foremost a Sci-Fi thriller. You wonder what is going to happen. And some of the more obvious things you think are going to happen do not.
The choice of actors in the film—everyone is, essentially in a supporting role—is great. You have Charlize Theron as an ice queen. Idris Elba as a not so serious captain (his character is established in one 15 second shot early in the film). You have Guy Pearce covered in makeup. The ladies even get to see Logan Marshall-Green with his shirt off. Michael Fassbender does sort of steal the film, however.
But this same Mr. Scott also gave us the BRUTAL Hannibal and the dubious recent Robin Hood. Add to this G.I Jane and Kingdom of Heaven and you have someone who aims for the stars, someone whose films are BIG. Is there anything bigger than trying to get Anthony Hopkins to revisit Hannibal Lechter? Yes, it should have been let be but to even try it you need brass balls the size of grapefruit. Likewise, Kingdom of Heaven was a grand idea that somehow (can you say “Orlando Bloom”) fell apart despite all Jeremy Irons could do.
This all sounds like taking a hatchet to Scott but it isn’t. His failures are more interesting than a lot of other director’s successes.
And Prometheus is one of Scott’s unqualified successes. It has, honestly, been awhile since he has directed a movie that can be termed an unqualified success. Depending upon the standard applied it might be over a decade (the harshest standard). A film that moves, where the actors do bring life to characters with limited screen time and that looks fantastic, Prometheus should be the big hit of the summer (even if no one it the film is wearing tights).