THERE’S no denying that Ridley Scott has a pretty decent track record when it comes to sci-fi stuff – Blade Runner and Alien can hardly be considered duds, after all.
So the fanboy geeks and geekesses will be at risk of soiling their Star Trek underwear with excitement at the prospect of a fresh big-budget outing in the genre.
And with big hitters like Michael Fassbender and Guy Pearce in front of the camera, surely Prometheus will shrug off the cinema curse of Idris Elba, who has not had the best of luck trying to translate his TV success to the big screen.
So what do you get for your money? Two hours and a bit of special effects in what’s billed as a ‘very loose’ prequel to Scott’s Alien series.
An archaeologist discovers a 35,000 year-old cave painting which can be interpreted as an invitation to reach for the stars, and a space mission is launched. After two years in cryogenic suspension, the crew awake above their target planet only to come face-to-face with a threat to the very future of mankind. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
The big talking point in a solid if not stunning summer blockbuster is the obligatory 3D trappings.
> Here comes another of those ‘fairy tales given an adult facelift for the Twilight generation’ tales – Snow White And The Huntsman stars Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth along with some Brit support in the shape of Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Lily Cole, Bob Hoskins, Eddie Marsan...the list goes on.
Forget the Disney version with the seven dwarfs and the songs, this take goes for an action adventure feel with Charlize as the wicked queen, Kristen as the cute rival and Chris as the hunter given the job of taking her into the forest and bumping her off. Instead he trains her in the art of warfare so that she can get her own back.
It’s a dark version which is probably much closer in spirit to the Brothers Grimm original, but you can’t help wondering why they spent so much time and effort telling a familiar tale in a different, but not necessarily more interesting, way.
> It wouldn’t be the summer without another TV favourite of generations gone by being dusted down and cranked out in movie form. This week it’s Top Cat - The Movie.The original cartoon shamelessly pirated the Bilko set-up in animated form but let’s not dwell on what happened when Steve Martin decided to update Bilko on the big screen.
This offering isn’t even distinguished by the roll call of voice talent which is normally attached to projects of this sort. It’s exactly as flat as you would expect, despite the 3D trimmings.
> Worth seeking out is The Angels’ Share, the latest from national treasure Ken Loach. It’s a sweet and sour comedy about a young Glasgow yob who turns out to have a rare talent for malt whisky, which leads him into sundry scrapes.