Don’t ask me how, but I managed to get a ticket to the Cast & Crew Premiere of Prometheus at the Empire Cinema in London’s Leicester Square last night. Though it was disappointing not to see director Ridley Scott or the cast, who are probably saving themselves for tomorrow’s red carpet Premiere (a part of me was hoping I’d get to sit next to Charlize Theron, you can probably guess which part), the experience of going to see a film with nothing but film fans and people who respect the art, in a stunning cinema, was amazing, even if there was a bit of a post-movie crowd crushing to retrieve handed-in phones afterwards. Plus, I saw it three days before the rest of the general public, which makes me feel special.
In 2089 a group of scientists, led by Shaw and Holloway (Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green) discover ancient cave paintings on the Isle of Skye depicting giant humanoids reaching up to 6 orbs in the sky. The drawing matches others found all over the world, and point towards a distant planet that may hold some key to the origins of mankind. Four years later, the scientists arrive at the planet LV223 as part of a 17-man crew aboard the Peter Weyland-funded ship Prometheus. Once there, the crew find traces of alien life, but are the answers they receive the ones they were hoping for?
6 years ago Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy took the world by storm, so it was only a matter of time before movies were made, and even less before Hollywood came a-knocking with a US remake, due to hit cinemas this Boxing Day. David Fincher is a perfect fit for the source material, as he revels in the darkness and shadows of those living on societies outskirts, so hopefully he’ll do a better job of it than Niels Arden Oplev in this Swedish original. Understandably when transferring a book to the screen, especially one as dense as this, some omissions will need to be made; plot points will be skipped over, characters written out and those remaining will be trimmed down to a fraction of their former selves, how else will it all fit into a two hour time slot whilst not alienating newcomers by cutting vital exposition? But when the central storyline is a whodunit case of a 16-year old girl vanishing from a closed off island 40 years previously and only one possible suspect is given any level of character depth, it removes any sense of mystery as to who the culprit is.
That being said, the performances are exceptional, especially Noomi Rapace (currently seen in an underused role in the Sherlock sequel, and soon to be in Ridley Scott’s Alien sequel/prequel/equal Prometheus) as the rake-thin, leather-clad, eponymously inked super hacker Lisbeth Salander, but the overall feel seems rushed. Given the choice, opt instead for the six-part extended TV series version recently released on DVD, or read the books if that way inclined, as some of the grislier scenes – the anal rape, for example – are far easier to read about than they are to watch.