Prometheus Deserves to Be a Bigger Hit

It has been a while since I've seen an unabashedly pure science fiction film. Even Avatar had bits of fantasy thrown in. Prometheus by Ridley Scott is the kind of movie that speculative fiction fans as well as general audiences should wholeheartedly embrace for its thought-provoking ideas, epic scope, terrific cinematography and special effects, and gripping performances even if in the end it's "just" a prequel to the Alien franchise. (Some spoilers ahead, proceed with caution.)

It isn't a story without its flaws, but if the greatest of those flaws is the fact that many questions are raised and left unanswered, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.  After all, the premise is that human beings are searching for the origins of life, and to wrap it all up by the end credits might seem like an overly simplistic cop out.  On the other hand, the tantalizing questions might also be explored again in another film.

The awe-inspiring opening scenes give way to typical horror fare, but the chills and thrills are genuinely chilling and thrilling, thanks to the great cast who completely sell it all, elevating it to the upper echelons of the genre. Michael Fassbender is brilliant as the android David, a creation of humans who were in turn created by the mysterious Engineers. It's a profound touch that David's actions lead to the birth of the familiar alien creature, bringing the genesis story full circle.

Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw channels the action/adventure of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley at her finest (even providing a bit of blatant homage to some scenes in the original Alien movie), while also bringing a powerful, vulnerable, and spiritual subtext to the proceedings. I've heard that some early religious themes in the plot were left out of the finished picture, but they would have made the story all the more intriguing.

Charlize Theron continues to be one of my favorite actresses as the icy but captivating Meredith Vickers. Guy Pearce is almost unrecognizable as the old Peter Weyland, but he brings a strong presence that overshadows the heavy prosthetic makeup. The rest of the supporting cast is also very strong.

As of this writing after almost a month in release, Prometheus has earned $284,162,000 worldwide. That's not bad, but it deserves to make even more. If you haven't seen it yet on the big screen, do so and let me know what you think of it.