Intelligent science fiction thriller

Prometheus 20th Century Fox Rating: 14A 124 minutes

Apparently Prometheus started off as a prequel to director Ridley Scott’s very popular and successful Alien from 1979. But it evolved into its own story, although it still echoes the earlier film, and sometimes 2001: A Space Odyssey too.

Prometheus is the name of the spaceship carrying our stalwart band of heroes to a distant planet with signs of life and possible clues to the origin of mankind, in 2093. There they find humanoid life forms in some kind of frozen limbo. They turn out to have DNA that matches humans. However, there are also other, more unpleasant life forms that start picking off the crew of scientists and technicians.

Noomi Rapace (from the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) plays our heroine and Michael Fassbender plays an android that seems to know more than he’s telling his human masters. Charlize Theron plays the boss of the mission, as she represents the company financing it all.

There is lots of edge-of-your-seat action and an especially incredible, yet dramatic sequence when Rapace has a robotic operation to remove the fetus of an alien inside her. And the often impressive special effects don’t overpower the characters.

There are unpleasant parts with Scott’s usual slimy, drooling, reptilelike, nasty aliens that are not for the squeamish. However, it’s an intelligent science fiction film that asks, but doesn’t always answer, some profound questions (perhaps the sequel will). All in all, a very entertaining film: you will not be bored.

Rating: five deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.