Ridley Scott insisted that Prometheus wasn’t a “direct prequel” to Alien when it came out in 2012, but it shares “strands of Alien’s DNA”, which means that you can really treat it as you see fit. Scott’s visual touch remains in evidence here, as another spaceship lands on a barren planet and another motley crew (Idris Elba, Sean Harris, Michael Fassbender, Rafe Spall, Kate Dickie) goes investigating, with monstrously gooey results. Archaeologist couple Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green seek to discover humankind’s ancestors, but existential wonder is quickly extinguished when an alien virus gets on board. The narrative framework – from a screenplay by Damon Lindelof (Lost) and Jon Spaihts – mirrors Alien’s, but the tension, backstory and horrible deaths will seal the deal for franchise fans. The follow-up, Covenant, is due in May, featuring a largely new cast, with Fassbender again playing the android “help”.
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