Supposed to go with Esther to catch this first sci-fi release in years by uber director Ridley Scott last night, but she couldn't make it, so I went alone (again) to catch it at USJ Summit. Like I said, this "not a prequel but yet could be a prequel loosely tied and takes place in the same universe as Alien but then again a stand alone story by itself", whatever that means, is the most anticipated movie this year personally. But...life never cease to throw surprises at you.
Taking place in the year 2093, that is 29 years before the event in Alien, a group of researchers, scientists, etc. totalling 17 crew, including an android so handsome (Michael Fassbender, last seen as young Magneto in X-Men: First Class. Always thought he could be 007 one day.) that seems to pop out from fashion magazine, which makes Ash and Bishop looks like second hand left overs from Weyland-Yutani Corp. But of course, Weyland had not merged with Yutani, yet, at this point.
There's flavor of the year, Noomi Rapace (just like when Jean Reno and a certain Hong Kong actor by the name of Chow Yuen Fatt hit it big in their native countries and courted by Hollywood) whom last appeared in the Sherlock Holmes sequel, as the main protagonist who is an archaeologist and the ever so beautiful Charlize Theron as an icy, typical corporate "suit" in charge of the expedition. Ms. Theron seems to be associated with icy, emotionless, villainous character nowadays, cue Snow White and the Huntsman, also now showing at local cinemas. Nevertheless, she too has her "needs" and it is fulfilled by one very lucky captain of the ship with a heart of gold, played by Idris Elba.
Anyhoo, the title is derived from the name of the interstellar spaceship which travels two years to a distant moon to have a date with the aliens whom are believed to be responsible for the origin of the human race. How they know its that particular moon? Well, a space map is formed based on completing a puzzle consisting several Earth ancient civilisation paintings and murals. The moon is designated LV 223 (hey, where's LV 426 then?). Weyland Corps funds the expedition. Why all these are happening? Coz, a space jockey, yes, one of the same dead giant alien seen in Alien sitting on its "chair", now officially called Engineers, drinks a black liquid waayyy back on a primitive, young Earth and fell into a waterfall, disintegrates and its DNA gives life to our planet, including us. This is the first "why" I ask myself. Why would he drink the DNA altering liquid in the first place? To populate Earth with life? What for? And at the cost of its own life? A ritual perhaps? By the way, those Engineers, they look like beefed up, Olympic swimmers with those Greek era statues physique and very human like and in fact, has the same DNA as us homo sapiens. Kind of reminds me of how Biblical Adam is created from sand, right 'cept in this case, we are created from the dead body of an alien. Okay, got it so far. Them Engineers wear Gigeresque bio-mechanical exo-skeletal space suits. And they are giants, about 8 to 9 feet tall. And bald. And pale. Like an albino with muscles you wouldn't wanna mess around with.
So, the crew finally arrives at the moon, immediately set out for one of the nearest structures, which is reminiscence of H.R. Giger's painting of the Harkonnen Palace from the shelved Dune movie (later released by David Lynch in '84). Curiously, the spacesuits and techs of the ship looks more advance than Nostromo. Maybe because the latter is a space towing vehicle while Prometheus is a first class ride, even though there is a 29 years technological difference between them.
The boys and girls come across various bizzare murals, including one which looks curiously like an Alien Queen, as well as holographic Engineers or "ghosts" (?) running about and then within a massive hall, there are urns lining up within, which oozes black liquid when the leng chye android goes near it. The idea seems to me come from the same concept as the alien egg of which Kane encountered i.e. activation when a potential target is near. Within these urns contain further vessels which house the liquids. Inside the black stuff, and I am not talking about Irish most famous export after U2, has microbes like thingy inside. They also finds the corpses of the Engineers, all dead, mysteriously from various injuries of what seems to be implosion from within themselves. A storm comes and the crew manages to secure one of the decapitated head of an Engineer for analysis but it too, explodes.
The handsome android then decides to infect Noomi's boyfriend with a drop of the liquid after speaking to an unseen man. Or maybe he is jealous of him. After all Noomi is the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Just kidding. So after a night of lovemaking, the boyfriend begins to get sickly. The special effect is a disappointment really. No bio-mechanical nightmare here. I am expecting more out of this world mutation. After the second trip to the House Harkonnen, oops, I mean the alien structure, the boyfriend goes loco and sick, looking like one of those zombies from Night of the Living Dead. Luckily Charlize Theron's character burnt him alive. Maybe she is jealous of Noomi.
Meanwhile, two typical "the audience knows they gonna die" characters meet their doom at the hands of a cobra like worm, presumably mutated from larvae of beetles which have contacted the oozing black liquids earlier. The creature coils, crushes and inserts itself into the specky guy while the Mohawk guy gets a load full of acid spit onto his face. He comes back with superhuman strength, looking like a zombie, near the landing ramp, "folded" like the discarded idea of the "box alien stance" from the drawing boards of the '79 original (Scott could not shoot it due to technical and effect limitations) and after conveniently kills off most of the insignificant characters with no characters, get himself barbecued by flamethrowers.
Then Noomi gets three months pregnant even though the last intimacy with her dead boyfriend is just 10 hours ago. She forcibly performed self Cesarean upon herself and gives birth to an octopus. Yes, an octopus. What a downer...She manages to trap it, and as suspected by the captain of the ship as well, realises that the moon serves as a military base of some sort for the Engineers until they themselves lost control of the liquid and are wiped out.
Then Guy Pierce, heavily disguised and aged as old man Weyland, presumably dead, appears, reveals his agenda for the trippy trip which costs him several trillions. He is also the mysterious person whom has been talking to handsome android. His motive is to ask the Engineers to prolong his life. And Charlize's Meredith Vickers turn out to be his daugther but there's no love lost between them. That's what powers and money can do to a family relationship I guess. Vickers want the throne but daddy isn't giving in. I would.
So, handsome android, rickety Weyland, several others and a barely recovered Noomi's Elizabeth Shaw with stapled abdomen to cover up the operation go to the primary chamber, yes the similar one seen in Alien, and wakes up a sleeping, one sole, surviving Engineer discovered earlier by handsome android. By around this stage, Shaw tries to warn all of them not to wake the sleeping dude, coz like all dudes whom are taking a nap, you will probably agit him through the roofs. So, Shaw tells them that the Engineer would probably destroy mankind as his first act as the black liquids are actually a form of bio-weapon of mass destruction meant to annihilate the human race. Weyland, being old or probably could not hear Shaw because everyone are talking and yelling at the same time, of course, doesn't believe Shaw, only to have himself slapped once, KOed and said bye bye to the world on the spot, while others get tossed to their death by the Engineer. Handsome android gets decapitated but still alive of course. No as yucky as Ash though. The Engineer begins to activate the hidden ship within the structure, sitting on the cockpit and wants to head to Earth for disturbing his sleep and his dream of Charlize.
Captain Idris Elba and his two sailor boys suddenly decide to become the ultimate heroes by sacrificing themselves via ramming Prometheus headlong onto the taking off alien ship, causing it to crash, and as it rolls and tumbles about, Vickers is crushed to death by it. Oh no! Charlize! Never mind. I'll see her again in Snow White and the Huntsman. So Shaw is left as the only survivor until handsome android calls her out and said they can still get off the moon as there are other ships and only he can pilots it. He also warns her that the Engineer pilot survives the crash and is heading towards her, accumulating in a fight between by now grown up octopus, her "offspring", and the Engineer. The octopus thingy inserts a tube into the Engineer, incapacitating him. Facehugger anyone?
Meanwhile Shaw and handsome android, ok, his name is David, commandeers one of the alien ship and takes off, ending with the same narration as in the '79 Alien ala Ripley, "this is Elizabeth Shaw, the last survivor of Nostromo, oops, I mean Prometheus." She also made a transmission to warn anyone not to get to the moon. Hhmm, I thought it was the Engineer which made the warning. Where are they heading? The Engineers homeworld. So a sequel is in the potential of being made. Good luck to them.
The final sequence shows the dead Engineer's chest burst out an alien lookalike with the classic elongated head and inner jaw, screeching out. The end.
There's a lot of whys in this movie. Of course, the "why" does the Engineers want to eliminate mankind after creating them? How does Alien tie in to all this? Is the black liquid some form of DNA alteration, creation substance, hinting at how the original Alien used to cocoon Brett and Dallas, transforming them? Where is the dead Engineer in the original Alien? Where's LV-426? Are the Engineers everywhere? Why there's urns instead of eggs? What's that alien lookalike mural/sculpts doing on the wall of the ship? And I thought I saw a snippet of a sitting Engineer whose chest seems to be about to burst out while another Engineer approach him. Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me. Sigh...