It has been over 30 years since Ridley Scott has so much as touched the sci-fi film genre and for those eagerly anticipating Prometheus, it has been well worth the wait; that is, at least, if you were not expecting a direct prequel to Ridley's '79 Alien.
With a first half that is damn near perfection, Prometheus takes off with a crew made up of 17, including: Noomi Rapace (the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Michael Fassbender (young Magneto), Charlize Theron ("Monster"), Guy Pearce ("Memento"), and I'm pretty sure even Colin Farrell has a few lines. If this cast sounds impressive, that's because it is; everybody gives a good performance, but the performances are only a single aspect of what makes this film so captivating.
Once the crew of the Prometheus reach their destination (after only two years of cryostasis), they're eager to explore the home of what could possibly be their creators (can't say I blame them) and finally get the answers to all our questions. However, our creators don't seem to be in the mood for a Q&A and suddenly mankind's very existence is at stake.
If you're scared already, do not fear: whether it be the three-dimensional, eye-popping visual effects, which are some of the best in recent memory; intense self-operation-giving scenes involving strange looking alien lifeforms squirming just below the skin; or the "Aha!" moments which will come to those keeping a watchful eye out for those Alien-tie-ins, there is almost never a dull moment, thanks mostly in part to the terrific pacing on Scott's part.
That isn't to say, however, that this is a perfect movie. I mentioned earlier that the first half was damn near perfection and that is true. Sadly, as the plot thickens, some things are explained well while other things are not, to the point where you become just as confused and disappointed as the crew of the Prometheus (if only slightly less so). I will go no further into detail about this for all of you Prometheus virgins, which at this point should be most of you.
As for those of you who will be looking for the Alien-tie-ins as I was, Prometheus is a great stand-alone film. That is all I will say about that.
Overall I would give Ridley Scott's return to science fiction a grade somewhere in the B+/A- range; however, I would feel more comfortable giving it an A- as a stand-alone, which it was intended, for the performances, the amazing visual effects, and the ever-intriguing ideas that drive the story (if even to an unsatisfied conclusion).