“Monster” is a psychological thriller that tells the story of a young doctor who saves the life of a little boy only to find out a few years later that the life he saved was that of a brilliant killer. The doctor must then track down the young killer and solve a larger conspiracy.
As much as I feel people are too sensitive with their definition of the word “spoiler”, I haven’t included any below so feel free to read safely. No plot details or descriptions of any kind are included. This is also not my official review – that’s coming later.
If anyone has a right to attempt a prequel (or any kind of related film) to Alien, it’s Ridley Scott. And make no mistake, Prometheus is very much in that universe and shares more than “strands of DNA” with that film. However, it’s also very much its own movie and the ideas it’s concerned with aren’t very similar to the ideas explored within Alien. If that statement doesn’t make much sense now, I’m betting that it will after you’ve seen the movie.
I’ll get into all of this in more detail when my review hits in a few days, but I want to talk a bit about expectations first. I’ve seen Prometheus once (I’m seeing it again in a few hours so I can clarify my thoughts) and it’s a film that I like quite a bit. I’d go so far as to say that it’s “really good”. Like most films (and it’s better than most films), it’s not perfect. Normally I wouldn’t even bring this sort of thing up ahead of my review, but I feel that for the past six months many of you have been expecting a perfect film – something that equals Alien. It’s not your fault, the film is asking to be viewed through this lens.
But I’d encourage you not to. I’d encourage you to treat it as a new film and not bring a massive amount of baggage into the theater with you. Not everything in the movie works, but it’s gorgeous, intense and has some genuinely shocking and great moments. It can also claim great performances from Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace. I’ve heard some people complain that these characters are thinly drawn, but I certainly felt I knew enough about them to get what makes them tick.
Prometheus also has a lot of ideas and raises a lot of questions, questions that (by design) it doesn’t always answer. In that sense, it truly is its own cool sci-fi film and not an Alien film. It helps to be open to Scott’s desire to explore new territory within this framework. What doesn’t help is to expect an out-of the-box masterpiece, because many of you won’t find it to be that. But if you can get excited about Prometheus as an intense and interesting new movie – you’re in luck. I’m not asking you to turn off your brain or to disengage from critical thinking, I just think it might work better for you on an even playing field.
Prometheus opens on June 8th. We have a lot of interviews in the pipeline for you – starting with Michael Fassbender today at 3PM PST.