WITH Prometheus, acclaimed director Ridley Scott once again takes the controls of the Alien series in assured and compelling fashion.
The many years of rumours have been proved correct: this is definitely a prequel to Scott’s landmark 1979 sci- fi chiller Alien.
Nevertheless, this new instalment is best viewed as an epic repositioning of the franchise.
The memory of supremely silly follow- ups, such as Alien Vs Predator, will be obliterated by the majestic visual scale and tremendous performances on display in Prometheus.
A complex plot unfolds in the year 2093, where a corporate- funded space mission is under way to investigate the origin of mankind.
After a two- year journey, the 17- strong crew aboard the spaceship Prometheus lands on a distant barren moon, where they happen upon a dome- like structure that clearly does not belong there.
Once inside a maze- like arrangement of caves and tunnels, the visitors experience a sequence of terrifying phenomena hinted at in the first Alien film.
What starts out as a honourable quest for knowledge gradually becomes a desperate fight for survival.
On a visual level, Prometheus truly delivers upon all expectations, with superb creature design and some of the best uses of 3D since Avatar.
Unlike many of the spectacle- driven event pictures of today, there isn’t a single superfluous frame to be found here.
As overwhelming as some of the effects often become, it is all for the greater good.
Prometheus effortlessly transports viewers to another world, and keeps them there. The illusion is never broken.
The cast is exceptionally strong, with original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Noomi Rapace ( as a feisty scientist), Oscarwinner Charlize Theron ( as a pretentious company rep) and a scene- stealing Michael Fassbender ( as an android with a secret agenda) the standouts.
Australia’s Guy Pearce also plays a key part in proceedings.
However, viewers will have to strain hard to recognise him under some very convincing ageing make- up work.
If there is a sticking point for those who are not die- hard followers of all things
Alien, it could be an erratic screenplay. The story sometimes lacks the clarity and urgency many would expect from a blockbuster film.
Fans hungering for the graphic and spectacular shocks of the original Alien films will have to be patient.
The great gross- out factor takes a while to kick- in. But when it does, you will be satisfied with the results. The sheer ambition at work throughout
Prometheus makes the odd scripting hiccup a forgivable flaw.
Now showing State and Village cinemas
FRIGHT NIGHT: Logan Marshall- Green, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender in Prometheus.