First ‘Prometheus’ Reviews Emerge Online

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 9th, 2013 at 1:58 pm,

Prometheus Early Reviews First Prometheus Reviews Emerge Online

[UPDATE: More Prometheus Reviews Have Emerged Online. Scroll Down to Read Them.]

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is not just one of the most anticipated movies of 2012 – it’s also one of the most mysterious.  We’ve heard all about how the film is prequel/spin-off of Scott’s famous sci-fi/horror film, Alien – though the exact details of that connection remain vague. But aside from the explanation of how Prometheus and Alien fit together, there is one question that the general moviegoing public wants an answer to: Is the film any good?

One critic has already posted his review of Prometheus online, giving us an initial impression of what we can expect. We’ve kept things SPOILER-FREE, but needles to say, if you’re trying to stay totally in the dark until you have a chance to see Prometheus for yourself, STOP READING NOW.

The review in question came from Justin Chang over at Variety, who may have jumped the designated embargo date, giving us a look into Prometheus before 20th Century Fox intended. As it stands, here are some RELATIVELY SPOILER-FREE snippets of what Mr. Chang had to say:

Landing in a parched-looking valley on an unfamiliar planet, the scientists venture into an underground cavern whose malevolent contents immediately bring “Alien” to mind, and it seems at first that “Prometheus” will follow a similar outline, as the crew unwisely decides to bring specimens back to the ship.

Yet a key difference between this film and its predecessor is one of volume. Incongruously backed by an orchestral surge of a score, the film conspicuously lacks the long, drawn-out silences and sense of menace in close quarters that made “Alien” so elegantly unnerving. Prometheus is one chatty vessel, populated by stock wise-guy types who spout tired one-liners when they’re not either cynically debunking or earnestly defending belief in a superior power… Scott and his production crew compensate to some degree with an intricate, immersive visual design that doesn’t skimp on futuristic eye-candy or prosthetic splatter.

Also providing flickers of engagement are the semi-provocative ideas embedded in Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof’s screenplay. The continual discussions of creation vs. creator, and the attitude of one toward the other, supply the film with a philosophical dimension that its straightforward space-opera template doesn’t have the bandwidth to fully explore… Still, the film contains the ideal embodiment of its sly existential paradox in David (Michael Fassbender), the man-made manservant whose soulfully soulless presence brings to mind both “A.I.” and “2001”; he’s like HAL 9000 with better cheekbones.

There is much more to the review, but it is admittedly filled with loads of MAJOR SPOILERS. Head over to Variety if you wish to read it.

UPDATE: Additional reviews pretty much fit in line with Variety‘s assessment:

THR: The buildup and arrival are the best part of the film, suggesting a sense of inquiry and genuine sort of thoughtfulness that promise a truly weighty slice of speculative fiction. Not that this territory hasn’t been amply mined in the past: In fact, the particulars of the ship’s interior design, visual projections, hibernating crew members, sports workout routines and Michael Fassbender‘s robot character as a sort of ambulatory HAL… are unavoidably reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Technically, Prometheus is magnificent. Shot in 3D but without the director taking the process into account in his conceptions or execution, the film absorbs and uses the process seamlessly. There is nary a false or phony note in the effects supervised by Richard Stammers, which build upon the outstanding production design by Arthur MaxDariusz Wolski‘s graceful and vivid cinematography synthesizes all the elements beautifully in a film that caters too much to imagined audience expectations when a little more adventurous thought might have taken it to some excitingly unsuspected destinations.

From Time Out London:

There’s plenty to recommend in ‘Prometheus’: the photography is pleasingly crisp and the design is stunning, nicely redolent of ‘Alien’ and its sequels. There is a small handful of truly bracing set pieces – one scene inside a medical pod is without doubt the most heart-poundingly memorable moment of the blockbuster season so far.

But its flaws are impossible to ignore. The script feels flat – a few pleasing nods to the original movies aside, the dialogue is lazy, while the plot, though crammed with striking concepts, simply fails to coalesce. After an enjoyable setup, the central act is baggy, confusing and, in places, slightly boring, while the climax has flash and fireworks but no real momentum… There’s no denying that ‘Prometheus’ will make for a perfectly entertaining night at the movies – but we were promised so much more.

Prometheus Reviews Preview First Prometheus Reviews Emerge Online

In case you have a hard time wrapping your head around all that, here is a SPOILER-FREE breakdown of the overall impression:

  • Prometheus is visually impressive.
  • It’s louder and more “busy” than Alien‘s quiet, stripped-down aesthetic.
  • The actors do a fair job in their roles.
  • Michael Fassbender’s David and Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw are standouts (surprise).
  • The script makes you think (a little bit) but leaves a lot open for a sequel to resolve.

Questions about the sheer level of tension and/or terror, or the specific connections (or lack thereof) to Alien remain just that… questions. On the whole it would seem (at least from this review) that Prometheus is neither a big disappointment nor a rousing success for Ridley Scott – instead it is something different (worse?): A middle of the road movie experience.

We’ll see if these initial impressions hold true for the general public, as Prometheus hits 3D theaters this week in the UK, and on June 8, 2012 in the US.

Check out the extended trailer for the film, below:

Source: Variety & The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. Middle of the road?? That’s kind of disappointing for a Ridley Scott movie tied to Alien…

    The trailers, especially the latest one, look so creepily good… Oh well…

    • Reviews are so subjective. It’s one person’s opinion. The only persons whose opinion that matters, is yours.

      • ^^^ What Sam said.

      • Agreed… your opinion is the one that will make or break you. I have heard/read some outlandish reviews that did not coincide with the success of the movie… One that comes to mind was this little sci-fi film released in 1977. Many critics initially panned it:

        Pauline Kael of The New Yorker criticized the film, stating that “there’s no breather in the picture, no lyricism”, and that it had no “emotional grip”.

        Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader stated, “None of these characters has any depth, and they’re all treated like the fanciful props and settings.”

        Peter Keough of the Boston Phoenix said “Star Wars is a junkyard of cinematic gimcracks not unlike the Jawas’ heap of purloined, discarded, barely functioning droids.”

        Six Academy awards later (10 nominations)… well…

        History speaks for itself.

      • @Sam

        I know, not saying I won’t watch it, but as a long time fan of Alien and Aliens (and disregarding Alien 3 and 4…), I was hoping to hear more excitement over this. I’m sure people WANT to come back and say that Ridley Scott has done it again, so for them to say anything less than that is a little disappointing. I don’t really expect just a “good” movie from Ridley Scott in the Alien universe, I’m hoping for much more. I’ll still go watch it, but still a little nervous that nobody seems too thrilled by it…

      • Hazah! Here here, I agree w/ that 100%. Everyone can criticize on how they feel but how they feel about should bere no strain on what you think. See it for yourself you might feel differently about it…

      • Yeah thats true for one review or maybe 3-4. But consensus is usually dead on (thats why rotten tomatoes is so awesome). Even the fresh reviews on there are saying its good not great.

        • Umm no Rotten Tomatoes uses the worst aggregation method ever.

          What you’re looking for is Metacritic.

  2. Obviously there is a lot riding on this movie in terms expectations, whether it’s Ridley Scott’s return to the genre or the subject matter. Certainly some critics will have an agenda towards the film and to me to compare it to the original Alien film is a real mistake all around. I really hate it when reviewers compare to this film or that film, just review the darn movie in question on simply what it is or isn’t…

    • I agree with you in principle but this movie has made too many visual (and now, we hear plot-structural) references to “Alien” to avoid the comparison. I think there is in fact a Xenomorph statue in one of the teasers. Along with “Alien” this film and its possible sequel seem to be outlining some vast suggestive design Scott has for the future. In light of that my greatest fear for this movie is that the philosophical dialogue will be clunky, preachy, and ultimately discordant.

      • Well then, don’t go see it.

      • We must also remember that these reviewers aren’t exactly fans of certain films, they don’t have the same expectations, but mostly I get annoyed when they talk like a film should be a masterpiece. No matter what you go to see a film if you want to and if you are listening to reviews to make your decision then you probably didn’t want to see it in the first place. I actually like to read reviews for two reasons…I like for the films that I like to do well and I like to compare my thoughts after the fact…

        • every film should be a masterpiece, saying anything else is taking the easy way out. And Ridley Scott is a master so if this film is not a masterpiece critics as well as myself will be disappointed. The question is, was the a cash grab based on the Alien mythology and with a big name director and actors to attract an already established fan base, or is Ridley Scott trying to recapture something that he lost between gladiator and Robinhood, and has just not found his voice yet. Based on that this is set up for a sequel (according to initial reviews) I am inclined to think it is the former, though I hope it is the latter

          • Taking the easy way out? To what? Thinking every film you see or want to see is going to be a masterpiece is setting yourself up for disappointment. The great thing about movies is that you never know what you are going to get, you may hope for something but in the end get something completely different. If every movie was a masterpiece then there would be no masterpieces….

          • “every film should be a masterpiece”…

            Then you need to define masterpiece in the first place! It’s in the eye of the beholder. From where I’m standing, TDK and Avatar are masterpieces while other people dislike these movies. Even if movies are very popular and regarded as masterpieces, there will always be some negativity involved. There is no way you can please everybody, especially since some people are very hard to please.

            Personally, I’m not easy to disappoint when it comes to genre movies. So I’m sure I will love this one as well…when it comes out on BD… Since they don’t offer 2D versions of 3D films in cinema in my country anymore, I’ll have to wait for the home cinema release…

            • there is a matter of opinion that goes into “whether a film is good or bad” by which I am referring to whether or not the audience likes the film or not but that does not affect whether or not the film was well executed and well controlled. There are many paintings that are considered masterpieces and are worth millions of dollars that I do not care for. A perfect example is irreversible by Gasper Noe, I hate that film, it is impossible to watch and made me incredibly depressed for about a week after I saw it, but it was an incredibly well done film and I can’t deny that. Films are an art form and they should be treated as such, and Ridley Scott is an artist, so he should be producing masterpieces. I wish every filmmaker would treat their film like it was their baby, I am well aware that this will probably never happen but if they did there wouldn’t be so much schlock out there. If Michael Bay makes a bad movie and people excuse it by saying “I don’t know why everyone is expecting a masterpiece” that doesn’t make it a good movie. Blade Runner and Alien are IMO two of the best movies ever made. The script the acting the cinematography were all perfectly controlled. Scott owned those films. Every filmmaker should take complete control of everything they do and make a work of art, not just throw money at the screen and hopes if finds an audience. So I find it extremely frustrating when filmmakers, critics and audiences become complacent with mediocrity. Make a masterpiece!

              • I agree. When the person treats the film like this is their one and only shot then they produce films like Blade Runner and Alien. Yes, the critics were also harsh when it came to those films as well which is why I didn’t really put too much into it but when you have people who went to the screening and are huge fans of the Alien franchise come out saying it was “good” but it doesn’t live up to the hype for this movie I feel a little nervous. Granted this is about 2-3 people’s opinion so far but none the less they were fans of the franchise.

              • Just because a movie doesn’t turn out the way fans had hoped doesn’t mean the director didn’t own it or had cared any less…sometimes the best intentions don’t always mean good results. For example: The Fountain by Darren Arnofsky…total passion project, didn’t work out so well critically or financially. And for what its worth Blade Runner almost completely disintegrated during filming and it wasn’t because of lack of caring from Ridley…it was studio and money issues…so there are many other factors that lead to a film being good or bad…

                • I can’t really speak to much on this because I haven’t seen this movie yet but from the reviews I have read it sounds like this movie is more spectacle than substance, and has lost some of the “mystique” that was in the original. Don’t get me wrong I’m not hating on Scott and I really want to this to be a good movie, and I have been super excited about it for months, but for me “good enough” is not good enough.

            • You’re right I am disappointed by most movies, most of them aren’t very good, although sometimes I get something out of a movie I didn’t expect. But I have found that if I expect to get more out of movies, when those expectations are met it is so much more safisfying

          • There WILL be a sequel to this movie. It will be called ‘ALIEN’ it is supposed to come out in theaters May 25th 1979

  3. There’s another review up at the ‘Hollywood Reporter’, which has the same less than, but not exactly disappointed, jubilant tone. Lindelof and Scott have been playing up the possibility and hope of a sequel a lot in recent interviews.

  4. Thanks Rossjg – we’ve updated the post with this second review.

  5. These are only early reactions though… (I think it’ll be awesome)

  6. Yes, I’ve read that review too today. I’m really excited to see this film but with the reviews starting to come in it seems like it’s just an average movie. I think this movie will tell a lot this weekend when the general public sees it in the UK. I’m interested to see what the public thinks. Hopefully it ends up being great and lives up to the hype, i.e. The Avengers and doesn’t fall flat, i.e. John Carter(even though I loved this movie, LOL).

    • The reason why the Avengers didn’t fall flat is because the critics judged that film for what is was – a superhero movie. However, those critics that gave their review were expecting Lawrence of Arabia. If you judge this film for what it is, I believe it can be spectacular.

      • That is true. I think this film will be great since I have been pumped for this film for a long time.

    • Thanks “Tom”

      We’d be happy to include yours too!

    • Seems like a lot of reviews are starting to show up, all of them signaling the same thing, not great but not aweful. The good thing is that there is also some reviews on Youtube from the public as well who went to the advance screening and are raving about the film. This is great since I trust the public more than the critics, LOL

  7. It bothers me when people let reviews get their hopes up. If I’m super excited about a movie, I don’t care what reviews say. I’ll go see it and I usually have the same feeling coming out. Maybe I just love movies for what they are…entertainment.

    • I agree with you. I just love movies, movies are first entertainment.. why? because they must entertain the viewer and engaged them to want to keep watching, second, third and fourth can be a plethora of other things: enlightening, educating, scaring etc.

      I never let any ones reviews stop me from going to see a movie especially a ridley scott film. I’ve seen plenty of films where critics completely bashed the film itself and I completely loved it.

      • *engage

      • Exactly! Critics HATED Bladerunner and now it’s regarded as a cinematic masterpiece. Critics get paid to look for things wrong in these movies and most tend to not enjoy them.

    • Hell yes to both of you! I don’t like to read reviews and normally don’t do so. I enjoy just going to the movies, it’s an experience and if it’s bad then “damn it”, but if it’s good or great well “yippy ki yay”.

  8. o my, this reviews are so stupid…there is nothing important

  9. With expectations running sky high for this film any
    note without perfect tone can sound louder than it is.

    • Agreed

  10. I’ll admit there are times when I’ll let reviews determine if I’ll go see a film or not but that’s usually when I’m on the fence about seeing the movie anyway.
    But from the 1st minute of the 1st preview Promehteus was a film I’d be seeing and judging for myself. I’ll still be there opening weekend no matter what.

    • From Total Film.
      4 Stars
      “You can relax, Prometheus is very good. As frightening as Alien, not as thrilling as Aliens, but a Sci-Fi Blockbuster that’s easily the sagas most spectacular entry.”

      • Yikes, if I’m going to quote something I should get it right. 😉
        “Not as frightening as Alien.”
        “3D Sci-Fi Blockbuster.”

  11. Alien and Blade Runner got lackluster reviews when they were released. Both are considered classics and definers of the genre.

  12. 89% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes at the moment for what that’s worth.

    • NOTHING. That’s what.

      • The early reviews are mostly favorable. That is not nothing.

  13. So…did it suck or not!?!

  14. Ridley Scott likes to make DIRECTORS CUTS of his movies that are usually extremely different than the theatrical version.

  15. The aforementioned entertainment reviews hardly gel with the reviews here at Screenrant, What you’re getting right now is only the views of a pretentious few.

    That said, If it does end up sucking, i’ll frigging cry. Not even waiting for the SR review on this one, which is rare.

  16. If you want to watch ALIEN, go watch ALIEN. This is PROMETHEUS. Watch it for what it is. If it’s better than AVP and Requiem, it’s not going to disappoint me at all.

  17. People are all talking about how this is different from Alien, how it’s not moody and the characters are all talky and excited acting… Well, the people on Alien were on their way HOME after a long trip out. They were blue collar workers going for a paycheck. The trip to LV426 was above their paygrade and undesirable as an alternative to going back HOME. In Prometheus the characters are going excitedly in search of alien life. There is the major difference between these two films.

  18. Say Kofi, I’m guessing you are on deck to review this mvie.
    I am curious if you were given the opportunity to see this yet.

  19. weird how none of these clowns talked about the movies tie in to the alien movies, not just that but their ‘reviews’ are so vague that it seems as if they’ve just reviewed a ton of trailers, tv spots etc an called it a day.

    i’m gonna wait for it to come out b/c even if the narrative doesn’t properly explain the origins, the visuals will make up for everything that sucks (which i hope isn’t alot).

    • Well, there’s still a week to go before the movie hits most of the world, so I actually applaud these reviewers for being vague and not going into detail and spoiling the movie…

  20. Ridley Scott’s directing is fantastic, the plot which I will not spoil is awful and senseless, a useless prequel that leaves room for a sequel ! Besides the android character, the others are just plain dumb. 90’s flick Red Planet sucked but was better then Prometheus.

    • Most of the people I’ve talked to said that it’s a good film, a must see if you’re a fan of Alien but that the movie didn’t meet the hype it was shelling out. I will still go watch it but we will see

  21. The scene from the original Alien film when 5 crew members of the Nostromo enter the Alien space shift and see a corpse of alien creature sitting in a cockpit with it’s ribs exploded looks EXACTLY LIKE the clip from the Prometheus trailer 2:11 sec into the 2:30 sec trailer (WITH AN ENGINEER (ALIEN) SITTING IN A COCKPIT (How could this movie not be a prequel ?????????????

    • IMO ScreenRant’s critics are pretty spot on most of the times.

  22. So here’s the scoop I got from some friends who are huge Aliens fans that went to see the special screening in France.


    1. The film is beautifully done. The visual effects are top notch
    2. The film does have ties to the Alien movies in some aspects, some of which you will be able to figure out during the film
    3. The flow of the film in the 1st half seems slow but picks up in the second half of the film
    4. The script is okay and could have done away from some dumb one liners within the film
    5. The scary factor is a little disappointing. Given Alien’s scare factor this film lacks in that “wow, that was pretty freaky” feel.
    6. The film is really good, but not to the level of Alien/Aliens
    7. Michael Fassbender does an excellent job in this film along with Noomi Rapace
    8. The ending is awesome and comes out of nowhere leaving room for a sequel but if there is one hopefully there will be some improvements made within the flow of the film

    In general, their overall feeling is that the film is a must see if you’re an Alien fan but it doesn’t match the intensity of that of Alien.

    • Thank you jaredDAC, I don’t think what you posted is a true spoiler…it is helpful actually. I do think people should see the original Alien movie before going out to see Prometheus (IMO)