If you're an avid follower of the riveting goings-on here at Random Reviews Incorporated, you know that I'm currently on a crusade to review films that aren't on DVD. Technically, I'm not bending these self-imposed rules by discussing Prometheus. I wasn't planning on submitting this stand-alone prequel (an oxymoron?) for an objective vivisection, but I was moved to speak on Ridley Scott's behalf. Someone needs to speak up for this flick. It has its paracletes, sure, but an alarming number of sci-fi geeks left the theater disenchanted. What were they expecting? I can't answer that question, but I can tell you why I enjoyed Prometheus. In my opinion, it's as gratifying as an Alien prequel ever could be, considering that we know how the story ends.

I will forego the perfunctory synopsis. If you've seen the film, you're already familiar with the plot. If you haven't seen the film, you shouldn't be familiar with the plot. I understand that there exists a mutinous contingent of cinephiles that feeds on spoilers, but if that's your thing, I don't like you. Seek help. Moving on! I've always been fascinated by the mythology of the Alien universe. The "space jockey," the origin of the xenomorphs, the ulterior motive(s) of the Weyland corporation...I'm rapt by any exploration of this stuff, so the idea of a prequel appeals to me. When it came time to imbibe Prometheus, I was super intrigued from the get-go. Maybe that's why I'm immune to the faults that badgered a great deal of genre enthusiasts.

Even the detractors agree that the cast is exceptional. Charlize Theron is icy as Vickers, a stolid supervisor of sorts ("It is my job to make sure you do yours."). Everything about her is blurry and ambiguous, though I predicted a twist that reveals the rationale for her vested interest in the project. Noomi Rapace kicks ass as Elizabeth Shaw. She carries herself with pragmatic grace, but her character arc prods her into becoming a rugged, Ripley-esque heroine. The "surgery" scene is fucking intense. Of course, Michael Fassbender is magnificent as the compulsory android. On a choleric note, the rest of the acting troupe is largely interchangeable. And then there's Guy Pearce...

Jesus, anyone could have played Weyland. Why didn't they opt for a senior thespian instead of applying the worst "old age" make-up that I've witnessed in a mainstream blockbuster? This is an instance where I'll side with the naysayers. Thankfully, the visual effects are seamless. CGI is used minimally to augment practical Hollywood magic. Ah, in-camera gore. I didn't mind the creature designs. Admittedly, the size of the Engineers threw me off. They tower over their human co-stars in certain sequences, but the final jockey didn't seem very tall at all during the climax. I remember the ossified Engineer in Alien being motherfucking massive, more so than any of the beings in Prometheus.

Still, I was happy with the final product. It works as both a prequel and a stand-alone film. As a matter of fact, I'm up for a sequel! It's certainly not perfect. I hear fans griping because Prometheus routinely dismisses logic. And it does, but from where I'm sitting, the bulk of science fiction dismisses logic. I was reminded of Forbidden Planet. The characters aren't the brightest bulbs in the utility closet, and if you look hard enough, you'll find gaping holes in the script. The same could be said for Tarantula and The Day the Earth Stood Still. That's why movies ask us to suspend disbelief. I don't see how this particular sci-fi opus ignored its own rulebook. Where are the inexpiable infractions? Chill out, guys.

PS-Pictured above is a retro poster that was created by a fan. I want it on my bedroom wall. Now.

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