The origin of human life is a topic that has plagued mankind for centuries. Where do we come from? Why are we here? It is only human nature to ponder these questions. Our species is a curious one and, given the chance, I’m sure that we would go to great lengths to explore the dawn of our species. These are just some of the topics that are brought up in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. While the film’s reach may exceed its grasp, it is still a dazzling motion picture that ranks with the best of the year so far.

In the year 2089, a pair of archeologists discover a star map pointing to a previously unexplored galaxy. Having found this same star map all over the globe, they believe that it is an invitation to discover where our species originates from. The ship Prometheus is then sent into space, along with a crew, to explore the moon LV-223. As they begin to explore the moon, they discover a horror that could, ultimately, bring forth the destruction of the human race.

Ever since the film was announced, it has been debated whether or not Prometheus was a prequel to Alien. After having seen the film, it is clear that both films share several important elements and they both have a similar tone and style. I personally believe that the film is a prequel, but I have heard arguments stating that while the film may take place in the Alien universe, the events in Prometheus do not have a direct impact on Alien. Ridley Scott has left this aspect of the film open to viewers, a topic that is sure to rage debate for quite some time.

Whether or not Prometheus is a prequel to Alien is just one of the many questions that the film leaves unanswered. The film brings up many ideas, such as the origins of human life and the basis of religion versus science, but it fails to fully address them. Many questions are raised in the film, but very few of them are truly answered.  The film answers the question of who created us, but it fails to answer the question of why did they create us or why did they decide to destroy us. Much of the film remains open to the viewer, which is smart filmmaking in some cases, but in Prometheus it feels like they overdid it. The lack of answers in the film is more frustrating than intriguing.

Despite the fact that the writing feels a bit lazy, the rest of the film is absolutely mesmerizing. Ridley Scott does a great job directing, creating haunting visuals that slowly add to the film’s sense of panic. The visual effects are fantastic, seamlessly creating a ship and a world that feel genuinely real. The fact that a lot of the film takes place in the dark could have created a difficult viewing experience, but the cinematography and set design are so good that the locations in the film always feel unique.

Michael Fassbender portrays an android named David and his performance is easily the best in the film. Everything from the way that he talks to the way that he walks makes him appear to be an android. He delivers his lines like a man who is trying to sound human, but cannot fully achieve this. Noomi Rapace does a great job of being a strong female lead, even though her accent is a bit shaky. Finally, you would not believe that the elderly Peter Weyland is portrayed by the young Guy Pearce. His performance, along with the fantastic makeup effects, makes him appear to be a man well into his nineties.

Prometheus is a fantastic film that will leave you thinking, even after the credits have started to roll. Its two hour runtime goes by in a flash, a testament to how a slow build can lead to a very satisfying payoff. In fact, this is a film that was so engrossing that I did not want it to end. There may be a lack of character development and some of the characters decide to partake in idiotic actions, but these flaws are overshadowed by everything in the film that works. It may not be as intelligent as it hopes to be, but Prometheus is a daring sci-fi film that deserves to be seen.

Prometheus receives 3.5/4