Cinema: Great Scott, it’s back

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More than 30 years after Ridley Scott proved that in space, everyone can hear you scream – loudly – the Oscar-nominated director returns to the science-fiction genre and the ultimate deep space killing machine: Alien.

The weight of expectation resting on Prometheus would crush even the eponymous titan from Greek mythology.

There are some intriguing ideas embedded within Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof’s script – Darwinism vs Creationism, the recklessness of scientific endeavour – but inevitably, Scott’s film reduces to a big budget game of cat and mouse. Production values are impeccable and the numerous dank, foreboding corridors provide plentiful opportunities to slaughter supporting characters.

If the original Alien was a masterclass in nervous silences and sustained, nail-biting tension, Prometheus opts for composer Marc Streitenfeld’s overwrought orchestration and splatter par excellence courtesy of the visual effects department. The 3D version is a truly immersive experience during the early scenes, when the screen is festooned with overlaid holograms and projected computer readouts. The eye-popping format becomes almost unnoticeable by the end, however, when a gratuitous coda leaves the airlock well and truly open for a sequel.

Great Scott? No, perfectly adequate.