In Ridley Scott’s return to the beloved world of Alien, it is referenced that the Prometheus of Greek legend was eternally punished for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to man. Scott has delivered fire in this imaginative world and reminded me why I go to the movies.
There is a rare wonder to Prometheus that is exclusively the product of film. It opens with stunning vistas of natural landscapes so marvelously shot that I found myself indulging in the thought “if only the screen was bigger” (I should like to see it in IMAX). The rest of the film’s set pieces are no less magnificent, from the trillion-dollar expedition ship to the varied landmasses of the alien moon. The shots of the ship both in space and in landing might have one imagine the concept art reeling in motion. ‘Wonder’ is the central theme here.
And so it is with our characters. One character, perhaps, more so than the rest: the android David 8. Played deftly by Michael Fassbender, David’s boundless curiosity conflicts with that of the crew, limited by their own motivations to survive, whether for love or other reasons. “There is nothing in the desert and no man needs nothing,” David says, “…just something from a film I like.”
Watching Prometheus, we see a world of wonder in the eyes of David. For the course of its running time, we are uninhibited by our daily fears and anxieties and we can afford to be a little curious. For one who isn’t even human, why is David 8 is the soul of Scott’s film.