Prometheus: Ridley Scott’s second sci-fi opus?

I watched Prometheus in 3D IMAX today.

Bottom line? Ridley has given us a stunning film—not just to watch, but to ponder. Make no mistake, this tale gets under your skin—way under—and then wriggles around with tentacles and goo, making a mess of your emotional innards. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that one scene in particular left me thinking, “I can’t believe I just watched that on screen.” When I told my fifteen year old son Noah I’d seen the movie, he asked if he could see it.

“Not even maybe.”

Prometheus is violent, graphic, and disturbing. That said, Scott never indulges in gratuitous anything. What happens needs to happen, and his story holds together magnificently.

The search for our beginning could lead to our end.

This is the tagline’s promise, and it delivers. This film was amazing in the same way The Dark Knight was amazing. Someone asked me if I liked Dark Knight after I’d seen it.

Um, no. It was too dark to like. Prometheus is similar.

Yes, I think Prometheus was that good. Writing, acting, visuals, story—they all come together and then sit like a ten pound cannon ball in your stomach when the credits roll.

Most importantly, Ridley Scott invites us to embark on a journey where science and faith are friends. The central character is an archaeologist named Elizabeth Shaw, played brilliantly by Noomi Rapace. She is a woman of faith who clings loyally to a pendant featuring a simple silver cross. When it becomes evident that humanity was “created” by an advanced alien race, Elizabeth simply replies, “But who made them?”

Oh, right. This effectively points to the fact that everything must begin somewhere. See my post Alien Origins for more on that concept.

Ridley shows us that some truths are hard to bear and take us places we’d rather not end up. It’s cool to watch a film with a “believer” (I use that term very loosely) not threatened by the facts or what they mean for her way of seeing the world. Scott could have taken this flick into anti-faith territory, and deliberately doesn’t.

During one poignant scene David (an Android) is having a frank conversation with a fellow crew member about their unsettling alien discovery. The human wonders, understandably, why the aliens created humanity. David replies,

David: Why do you think your people made me?

Charlie: We made ya ’cause we could.

David: Can you imagine how disappointing it would be for you to hear the same thing from your creator?

Can you imagine?

Good thing we don’t have to.

Good thing we know our creator.

Good thing he not only left clues behind for us to follow that would lead us to him, but that he also came to get us himself.

Good thing he never really left, that we can relate to him personally, that he died to give us life, and that we can live forever with him.

Good thing we don’t have to keep bunny hopping from one shrivelled bread crumb to another back through the maddening expanse of time and space, wondering if we will ever know where we came from, why we exist, and why we’re here.

Good thing, Jesus. Thank you.