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It was a good idea (actually, it was not an idea, it just happened…) to watch Promotheus after all the hype had abated. When sitting down in the cinema, I felt pleasantly free of all the expectations that burdened the film as the missing link between… let’s say “2001 – A Space Odyssee” and the “Alien” franchise, the ultimate vision of Ridley Scott, that ultimate visionary. I could sit down and see a move that started at the beginning and ended some two hours later, and I think my viewing experience benefited from this.

What I got to see was a film with stunning visuals, with an opening sequence of outstanding natural beauty, and quite a gripping story to follow. The three key points you could read about are true: 1) it looks beautiful from beginning to end, and honourable mention to the 3D use, which was harmonious and used subtle light compensation to accommodate for the 3D-induced light loss in the darker sequences, 2) Michael Fassbender confirms his status as one of the best screen presences there are today, and I would marry him if I could, 3) the script could have done with a bit more non-Hollywood liberties.

On the latter: I was surprised to feel disappointment creeping up in me as soon as the story picked up the “Alien” thread. When that happens, the film has already established a life and universe in its own rights, and playing to the fan base that was expecting (and was led to expect, by the early production history) to see “Alien – The Beginning” took away quite some momentum. It took away the possibility to further follow the actual theme of the film, which is the creation of mankind, and why would anybody want to do such a thing. Alien shananigans were not necessary for this, and only dampened my enthusiasm for what could otherwise have become a very profound and spectacular Science Fiction classic.

As it is, it is a visual spectacle with mostly very convincing actors (I did not care too much for Noomi Rapace as the female lead, though, she felt a bit arbitrary in what she was doing, probably a script thing), and a couple of sequels in the waiting. Fine with me, but I cannot help but mourn the fact that it could have been so much more.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/prometheus_2012/

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