Tomatometer Watch: Prometheus

In cyberspace, everyone can hear the critics scream.

Prometheus

73%

Don't call it a prequel. Or do. Wait, now it isn't. At this stage everyone's probably a little weary of the speculation over whether or not Ridley Scott's Prometheus is a direct forerunner to his 1979 classic Alien -- most of us simply can't wait to get a look at the thing. Well, the wait is (almost) over and the first reviews have started to arrive from the trades and outlets in the UK (once again those lucky geezers have the jump on American audiences). What do the critics have to say?
We won't delve too deeply into it for fear of possible spoilers, but so far the word is strong -- well, strong enough, with plenty of praise for Scott's visuals and a sense of welcome return to sci-fi for the filmmaker, who hasn't touched the genre since 1982's Blade Runner.

"Not only does Prometheus herald the rebirth of Alien, it breaths life back into intelligent sci-fi," says Grant Rollins at the UK's Sun, while the Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy says the movie brings "enough visual spectacle, tense action and sticky, slithery monster attacks to hit the spot with thrill-seeking audiences worldwide."

At The Guardian, however, Peter Bradshaw writes that Scott "has counter-evolved his 1979 classic Alien into something more grandiose, more elaborate -- but less interesting," and Variety's Justin Chang reports that Prometheus "remains earthbound in narrative terms, forever hinting at the existence of a higher intelligence without evincing much of its own."

Where will the critics meet on Prometheus? Scott's highwater mark is his 1977 debut The Duelists, which is at 100% (albeit with only 14 reviews aggregated), but the more appropriate comparisons in terms of genre would be Alien -- currently at 96% -- and Blade Runner, which is 92% fresh. We'd be surprised if the movie charts in that hallowed company, but it's gotta be better than Alien: Resurrection, right?

If you need to temper those expectations, of course, remember that Sir Ridley's last endeavor, 2010's underwhelming Robin Hood, earned a less than stellar 43% from critics.

Stay tuned for more reviews as they come in.

Prometheus is in theaters on June 8.

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