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Early Reviews Say 'Prometheus' Impresses Visually, But Not All Agree The Movie Delivers

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 30, 2012 at 12:30PM

"Prometheus" has landed. The highly anticipated return to sci-fi by Ridley Scott and the quasi "Alien" prequel is opening in theaters overseas today, and the first reviews from the trades and a handful of papers have arrived. And for the most part it seems the wait has been worth it, while a few argue that while the spectacle on screen is impressive, the movie doesn't have the substance to back it up.
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Prometheus Noomi Rapace

"Prometheus" has landed. The highly anticipated return to sci-fi by Ridley Scott and the quasi "Alien" prequel is opening in theaters overseas today, and the first reviews from the trades and a handful of papers have arrived. And for the most part it seems the wait has been worth it, while a few argue that while the spectacle on screen is impressive, the movie doesn't have the substance to back it up.

On the positive end of the spectrum, The Telegraph is ecstatic, saying the film is "majestic to look at in every way, and wild enough that many of the opening-night crowd -- this viewer included -- will be right back for seconds." Meanwhile, the London Evening Standard has run an early response in advance of a full review that sums up their feelings by calling it "a great ride back to 'Alien' territory as Ridley Scott triumphantly return to space." ScreenDaily is equally enthused saying that Scott hit the bullseye and "it is clear his striking sense of vision, drama and excitement fits perfectly with the genre and he has delivered a film that is already one of the most anticipated titles of the summer and should thrill, challenge and provoke audiences ready for his signature brand of intelligent and visceral film-making."

But not everyone agrees, with the trades in particular coming down a bit on the movie, wishing it had delivered even more. THR trumpets the technical achievements but says the "visually stunning return to science-fiction by Ridley Scott caters too much to audience expectations when more imaginative boldness would have taken it further."  Variety is even harsher, saying the movie "remains earthbound in narrative terms, forever hinting at the existence of a higher intelligence without evincing much of its own." 

But it's the Guardian that splits the difference between the positive and negative reviews, saying: "It is a muddled, intricate, spectacular film, but more or less in control of all its craziness and very watchable. It lacks the central killer punch of Alien; it doesn't have its satirical brilliance and its tough, rationalist attack on human agency and human guilt. But there's a driving narrative impulse, and, however silly, a kind of idealism, a sense that it's exciting to make contact with whatever's out there."

All this to say, we still can't wait to see it with our own eyeballs. "Prometheus" opens in the U.S. on June 8th.

This article is related to: Prometheus, Ridley Scott


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