‘Prometheus’: The Reviews Are In!

'The performances are excellent, especially from Michael Fassbender,' writes the AP's Christy Lemire.

After 30 years away from the genre, director Ridley Scott returns to science-fiction with “Prometheus,” a film with tenuous connections to the “Alien” universe.

Reactions to “Prometheus” have been decidedly split, but parties on both sides can’t help but praise Scott’s stunning visuals and the ambition of the screenplay.

Here is our roundup of critic reactions to “Prometheus.”

The Story
Since most reviews can’t seem to explain the story without giving away significant plot details, let this suffice: A group of scientists go into space. Bad things happen.

The Look
“Nearly all the bits and pieces in director Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus’ come from other movies — either one of Scott’s or someone else’s. More and more, though, I appreciate Scott’s fundamental squareness as a filmmaker. ‘Prometheus’ may be the ‘Gladiator’ director’s first picture shot digitally and in 3-D, but there’s an old-school assurance in the pacing and the design. ‘Elegant’ and ‘stately’ are two adjectives that won’t mean a thing to the potential teen audience for ‘Prometheus,’ but they’re the most apt.” — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

The “Alien” Connection
“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. It’s in the classic tradition of golden age sci-fi, echoing Scott’s ‘Alien’ (1979), but creating a world of its own. I’m a pushover for material like this; it’s a seamless blend of story, special effects and pitch-perfect casting, filmed in sane, effective 3-D that doesn’t distract.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Michael Fassbender
“The performances are excellent, especially from Michael Fassbender as a robot with the looks and impeccable manners of an adult but the innocence and troublemaking instincts of a child. His character, the genteel, fair-haired David, serves as an homage to Scott’s own work as he calls to mind Ian Holm’s android Ash from the original ‘Alien.’ His eerily calm, precise demeanor also is reminiscent of the HAL 9000 computer program in ’2001: A Space Odyssey,’ and the pop-culture influences that shape David’s habits and speech are a clever celebration of the power of classic cinema in general. (‘Prometheus’ probably will not go on to be considered one of Scott’s classics in the same category as ‘Alien’ and ‘Blade Runner,’ but you’ve got to admire its ambition.)” — Christy Lemire, The Associated Press

The Final Word
“You might also call [elements of the film] science-fiction clichés, but the amazing thing is that, at least for a while, they don’t feel that way. The visual scheme is sufficiently captivating, and most of the performances are subtle enough that whatever skepticism you may arrive with quickly turns into happy disorientation. The 3-D is unusually graceful — your gaze is absorbed rather than assaulted — and you are pulled into a world of lovely and disconcerting strangeness with plenty of time to puzzle over the behavior of its inhabitants.” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times

Check out everything we’ve got on “Prometheus.”

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