5 Awesome Performances
5. Captain Janek - Prometheus
There's a lot wrong with Ridley's Scott return to the same universe which spawned his first big hit, 1979's Alien. It looks absolutely incredible, as one would expect from the master craftsman, but there are holes in the plot, the logic and the science: essentially it's an above average popcorn movie, which makes this movie a lot less than we were anticipating. In addition to the stunning production design the one thing Mr. Scott got absolutely right was the casting. Michael Fassbender channelling Peter O'Toole in David Lean's Lawrence Of Arabia is utterly compelling. Charlize Theron as the icily detached Meredith Vickers stands in sharp contrast to the warm, approachable Elizabeth Shaw played by Noomi Rapace. Elba plays the spaceship Prometheus' Captain Janek, giving him the opportunity to work with Ridley Scott again after appearing in a smaller role opposite Denzel Washington in American Gangster. Here he smokes, plays a squeezebox which once belonged to Stephen Stills and radiates a calm authority which evokes an intriguing amalgam of both Dallas and Parker from the first movie in the Alien franchise. As part of an impressive ensemble he more than manages to hold the attention whenever he's on the screen. Scott instructed Elba to read Moby Dick to help establish a backstory for a character who is concerned solely with the logistics of the voyage, and not with its philosophical goals. A lot of what would have made this film coherent was obviously left on the cutting room floor. A few more scenes featuring Captain Janek would have helped massively.