Prometheus elicits Alien memories for viewers who have them, but works on its own, too, as a model of a contemporary (and, as is the contempo mode, long-winded) sci-fi horror pic.
Mr. Scott's sense of visual scale, which has often produced hectic, hectoring grandiosity (are you not entertained?), achieves, especially in the first hour, something like genuine grandeur.
Visually impressive and featuring one or two breakout performances, this anticlimactic exercise too often plays as though it has been cobbled together from archetypes, imagery and tropes from countless other movies.
With this overreaching Prometheus, Scott seems a bit like David carefully arranging his hair in imitation of O'Toole's Lawrence. He can still mimic the appearance of an epic, noble, important movie -- but the appearance is all.
This tale of an interstellar search asks cosmic questions about the meaning of life, but comes up with lame answers in a script that screams attention-deficit disorder.
This is a remarkably scary and eye-popping headrush of a movie, an experience that offers a maximum adrenaline boost at the same time as it engages your intelligence. Don't miss it.
Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" is a magnificent science-fiction film, all the more intriguing because it raises questions about the origin of human life and doesn't have the answers.
Narratively, it's a mess. There's a through-line Darwinism vs. creationism thing going on that ping-pongs big religious and philosophical ideas, but whiffs the return.
You're more likely to enjoy the film if you go in thinking less about "Alien" and more about Scott, with his emphasis on images, tone and atmosphere over -- sometimes at the expense of -- plot and story.