“Aliens” would sooner burst out of my stomach than me reveal the secrets of Ridley Scott’s first foray in sci-fi since “Blade Runner.” What I will tell you is Scott is back on the top of his game, starting right from the opening scene where a character falls apart in an almost barren wasteland, complete with rocky terrain, deep caves and steamy waterfalls.
It will be the place where most of the action takes place (other than on a spaceship) and where Elle (Noomi Rapace, in a riveting performance), her partner (Logan Marshall-Green), and crew follow a map found during an archaeological dig that will lead them to a planet that contains the first beings, the creators of humankind.
The rest of the crew contains Charlize Theron (as the wary, conniving commander), Idris Elba (the captain), and Michael Fassbender in the film’s best performance as David the helper-robot.
Scott has created a dark, foreboding world here. The effects are awe-inspiringly first-rate, from the complex spaceship design, creatures and technological advances (of both alien and domestic origin) to the downright thrilling way they are used to create action sequences (outrunning a rocky hailstorm) and gruesome encounters (death from a snake-like creature, Elle’s C-section). And the suspense just continues to ratchet up as the characters find a severed head, mysterious urns, ghostly hollograms, and more.
What’s also attention-grabbing of “Prometheus” is the deeper philosophical message. Questions about the origin of creation and our existence are embedded in the story and never too far from our mind. But, curiously just like his work on “Lost,” screenwriter Damon Lindelof, along with co-writer John Spaihts, do up a disapointing third act that doesn’t deliver the bold statements on humanity or lead the characters to any great discoveries about themselves which the film’s earlier stages augur, opting instead for creature-feature action sequences. But Scott has still put together one heck of a blockbuster; atmospheric, terrifying, and outstanding to watch.
AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY