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Home Movie NewsCritics' Reviews ‘Prometheus’ Reviews: No ‘Alien’ But Entertaining Within Limitations

‘Prometheus’ Reviews: No ‘Alien’ But Entertaining Within Limitations

4 minutes read

Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

Michael Fassbender Prometheus
Scene-stealer Michael Fassbender, Prometheus

The consensus seems to be that Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is no Alien. And it’s no Blade Runner, either. But most critics have found Scott’s latest foray into science-fiction to be perfectly enjoyable within its intellectual and cinematic limitations. Most reviews have been positive, but without being overly enthusiastic.

Of the stellar Prometheus cast, Michael Fassbender’s android – who happens to be a Peter O’Toole fan – and Noomi Rapace’s dreamy-eyed explorer have earned the best notices by far. Before reading any of the reviews, bear in mind that some critics have given out more details about the Prometheus plot and setup than they should have.

Prometheus currently has an 89 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes‘ critics. No “top critics” approval rating is available at this time. The sci-fier’s average grade is 7.2/100.

Prometheus opens June 8. Ridley Scott directed from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. In the Prometheus cast: Shame‘s Michael Fassbender, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘s Noomi Rapace, Snow White and the Huntsman‘s Charlize Theron, Mildred Pierce‘s Guy Pearce, Across the Universe‘s Logan Marshall-Green, Thor‘s Idris Elba, The Borgias’ Sean Harris, Anonymous’ Rafe Spall, Somers Town‘s Kate Dickie, and Little Children‘s Patrick Wilson.

“Back in the sci-fi genre for the first time since 1982’s Blade Runner, director Ridley Scott has always been more at home with Big Spectacle than Big Ideas. And sure enough, once people start dying, Prometheus’ ambitious thematic payload goes straight out of the airlock. … It might not pack the unbearable menace or blazing horror of the saga’s first two movies, but it utterly eclipses the last two. It’s exciting, tense and fully impregnated for sequels…” Jonathan Crocker, Total Film.

“Ridley Scott has counter-evolved his 1979 classic Alien into something more grandiose, more elaborate – but less interesting. In place of scariness there is wonderment; in place of tension there is hugely ambitious design; in place of unforgettable shocks there are reminders of the original’s unforgettable shocks. There are also some shrewd and witty touches, and one terrifically creepy performance from Michael Fassbender, who steals the film with the chilling, parasitic relentlessness of that first gut-bound alien.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

“… Prometheus, a visual feast of a 3D sci-fi movie that has trouble combining its high-minded notions about the origins of the species and its Alien -based obligation to deliver oozy gross-out moments. Ridley Scott’s third venture into science fiction, after Alien  in 1979 and Blade Runner in 1982, won’t become a genre benchmark like those classics despite its equivalent seriousness and ambition, but it does supply enough visual spectacle, tense action and sticky, slithery monster attacks to hit the spot with thrill-seeking audiences worldwide.” Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter.

“… with his fantasy epic Prometheus it is clear [Ridley Scott’s] striking sense of vision, drama and excitement fits perfectly with the genre and he has delivered a film that … should thrill, challenge and provoke audiences ready for his signature brand of intelligent and visceral film-making.” Mark Adams, Screen Daily.

Alien was always very nastily sexual, about horrific penetration (sharing this out very fairly between the sexes), nightmarish insemination and unstoppable contamination. Here that gyno-horror has been ratcheted up a couple of notches — and cunningly linked to the great horror of old age. So Prometheus isn’t the whole new mythology that Scott’s been claiming but it does show him completely reclaiming the franchise. … only the original creator of a fictional world ever has authoritative access to that world again. That’s what Ridley Scott has proved here in spades.” David Sexton, The London Evening Standard.

“Elaborately conceived from a visual standpoint, Ridley Scott’s first sci-fier in the three decades since “Blade Runner” remains earthbound in narrative terms, forever hinting at the existence of a higher intelligence without evincing much of its own.” Justin Chang, Variety.

Michael Fassbender / Prometheus photo: 20th Century Fox.

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