Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 by Peter Sciretta
Ridley Scott‘s science fiction 3D thriller Prometheus screened for the first time yesterday in London and France, and I was in attendance. 20th Century Fox doesn’t want me to review the film just yet (they’ve asked all the American journalists to hold off a week), but they’ve granted me permission to write/tweet/record a first reaction.
After the jump you can find my thoughts in short, a video blog reaction I recorded with Alex from FirstShowing and quotes from my colleagues that have also seen the film. I’ve made great efforts to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but please be warned that clicking through to any of the linked reviews on this page (especially the Hollywood trades) will expose you to plot points and spoilers you probably don’t want to read before seeing the film.
Video Blog Reaction:
Reactions from Twitter and the web:
Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm): I’ve been given the go ahead. I can tell you I’ve seen Prometheus and I can confirm that it is awesome. Not only is it thrilling, but it leaves you asking questions. (remember, @DamonLindelof is involved after all). The 3D looked great, and the film is visually stunning. Sadly, every trailer/tv spot gives away the story’s biggest “twist”, but I think the movie is enjoyable regardless. Michael Fassbender is amazing, stealing every scene he’s in.
Alex Billington (?@firstshowing): I just saw ?#Prometheus? last night – it was AWESOME. Loved it. Truly breathtaking, incredible, spectacular, thrilling sci-fi at its best. There’s a lot of freaky, disgusting, tense moments, but not outright ‘scare the shit out of me’ personally. You’ll dig.
Evan Dickson: So I can’t run a review just yet – but I can say that PROMETHEUS is really good. It’s simultaneously what you’re expecting and not what you’re expecting. Has some great moments. And not everything has been spoiled by the trailers. Still a bunch of surprises. It also requires you to engage and think along with it – you have to participate, which I like. My review is still under embargo and I might wait until tomorrow after I’ve seen the film again to write it. But I was not disappointed.
Larry Carroll? (@LarryCarroll): Other folks are blabbing, told I can too. “Prometheus” is the best Alien installment in decades; still, can’t touch the first 2 flicks. Fassbender steals every scene he’s in. Idris Elba also great. Beautifully shot, at least one instant classic scene. Leaves u wanting sequel.
Robbie Collin? (@robbiereviews): PROMETHEUS is, um, absolutely nuts. Not perfect by a stretch but there are ideas here you wouldn’t expect a studio to touch with a 10ft pole
Tom Wells (?@TomWellsLSF): Just seen @UK_Prometheus. People, prepare to have your minds blown! Only one thing wrong with it- I WANT MORE! Still can’t quite believe how good @UK_Prometheus is! One of the best I’ve seen in ages! Gotta see it again! ?#Prometheus? ?#AreYouSeeingThis?
Andrew Freund ?(@andrewfreund): Saw @PrometheusMovie last night and it was PHENOMENAL!! A new sci fi epic has been born!! Interviewing the cast today! My mind=blown. Phenomenal
Edward Douglas (@EDouglasWW): I’ve been given permission to say that I’ve seen Prometheus and I actually liked it quite a bit. Even seeing it again tomorrow!
Mark Adams (ScreenDaily): …with his fantasy epic Prometheus it is clear his striking sense of vision, drama and excitement fits perfectly with the genre and he has delivered a film that is already one of the most anticipated titles of the summer and should thrill, challenge and provoke audiences ready for his signature brand of intelligent and visceral film-making. … One thing that Prometheus isn’t is an Alien-clone. Alien – despite that it may feel slowly-paced set against current editing styles – was a film that embraced its horror-in-space format, and after a slow-burn set up and magnificent central gore moment as the mini-alien bursts from John Hurt’s chest settled into a brilliantly shot monster movie before Sigourney Weaver’s final memorable battle. While Prometheus has some striking chilling moments it never plays the all-out horror card, instead developing the science alongside the action and punctuating the film with moments that jolt and amaze. … It is Michael Fassbender, though, who perhaps has the most fun in Prometheus.
cenoctet: Prometheus is a must-see for fans of the Alien and a very good movie for lovers of sci-fi. See the movies is even more addictive. After, if you do not like the long explorations without a ton of action and you’re a hardcore Catholic, do not come to complain, you’ve been warned!
sallesobscures: But Prometheus is above all an atmosphere and in this we revel in the heavy atmosphere which settles on the film, the tension palpable, suspicions, questions, fears and fears. With Ridley Scott is not doing in the half-measure and the film leaves you no respite, 2 hours of pure entertainment with stunning picture. Rarely has more beautiful, more special effects push the limits of nconcevable if we return to the origins of Alien in 1979. A feast for the eyes and oreilels, because if the ship, sets, monsters will you take off the ward, what about the sound environment just daunting. Explosions, vessel noise, a sound environment and stunning musical theme sublime back from time to time in the film.
effets-speciaux: Let’s go straight into the heart of the matter: yes do not worry, PROMETHEUS is a great achievement. This is by far the prequel to the smartest and best realized that we have ever seen!
Clap Magazine: From the prologue, Prometheus hits hard, very hard. Visually in total harmony with its 3D. A rarity these days where the business case as it annoys stain. None of that here. The film is designed in three dimensions and marks after Avatar a new stage. The depth of each scene, travel in space or even this cascade pre-generic exploit the full potential of the technique providing the sensation of immersion in an advanced alien universe. Future technology is based on the hologram, the image projection in space (ie the frame) and Ridley makes his first ally. Idea necessarily already present in many SF movies but printed here as ever on film. The technical challenge is required and is an evidence as a new benchmark.
Sci-Fi Universe: Prometheus will everyone agree on the beauty of the images. It seems difficult to see someone tackle the film in this area. Prometheus is just perfect in terms of image design, this means that the sense of framing, the esthetic, what the meaning of everything shown on the screen. Ridley Scott is a genius in this field, and it is the top of his game on this film.
Screen Play: If the scenario is not very clear and could be subject to criticism, the success graph is absolutely not in question. The film is absolutely gorgeous and was shot in 3D, it is one of the most beautiful view on the screen. Similarly, the design of the various monsters is impressive realism. Sporting a refreshing simplicity and a mounting classy and extremely effective, it is a real treat for the eyes.
blockbustermania: As a viewer who loves blockbusters, you’ll like Prometheus. If you know Alien, you may also like Prometheus. But if you’re a fan of Ridley Scott and Prometheus as the expected Messiah, the disappointment may be at the rendezvous. But it’s still a good movie to see, but not the masterpiece which was expected…
critique-film: Prometheus is a great film. However it shows a bit disappointing since we were expecting something amazing and innovative. In reality it is a true prequel to Alien, ultra referenced and obedient to a very precise specifications, ranging from the metaphysical concepts to pure horror, while ensuring the fan service. Aside from this disappointment, we can say that Prometheus is a bomb.
Film Culte: Disappointing, obviously disappointing. Thirty-three years later, Ridley Scott returns to the sources of the sprawling universe he had created in Alien. A prequel, then, but who does not know where to turn. Constantly hesitating between a sci-fi original (and beautifully brought to life) and a reinterpretation of the origins of the myth, Prometheus is dispersed among its too many questions (some intriguing) and choke points that attempt to illuminate the mystery of each first film. The worst part is that you realize that the end is a prequel of prequel, and that the film alone will not build at all. The screenplay, co-written by the always cryptic Damon Lindelof (Lost), is lyrical at first, but terribly rough on the end. A broken promise by Scott, who, despite his immense talent visual, failed to capture the terror that made the enigmatic force that remains as one of his masterpieces.
Justin Chang (Variety): Elaborately conceived from a visual standpoint, Ridley Scott’s first sci-fier in the three decades since “Blade Runner” remains earthbound in narrative terms, forever hinting at the existence of a higher intelligence without evincing much of its own. … Yet a key difference between this film and its predecessor is one of volume. Incongruously backed by an orchestral surge of a score, the film conspicuously lacks the long, drawn-out silences and sense of menace in close quarters that made “Alien” so elegantly unnerving. Prometheus is one chatty vessel, populated by stock wise-guy types who spout tired one-liners when they’re not either cynically debunking or earnestly defending belief in a superior power. The picture’s very structure serves to disperse rather than build tension
Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter): A visually stunning return to science-fiction by Ridley Scott caters too much to audience expectations when more imaginative boldness would have taken it further. Ridley Scott’s third venture into science-fiction, after Alien in 1979 and Blade Runner in 1982, won’t become a genre benchmark like those classics despite its equivalent seriousness and ambition, but it does supply enough visual spectacle, tense action and sticky, slithery monster attacks to hit the spot with thrill-seeking audiences worldwide.