Stranger dan­ger

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies -

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.

LEIGH PAATSCH

Now show­ing State and Vil­lage cin­e­mas

FRIGHT NIGHT: Lo­gan Mar­shall- Green, Noomi Ra­pace and Michael Fass­ben­der in Prometheus.

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