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'Prometheus' Reviews: Ridley Scott's Blockbuster Gets Positive Notices From Critics

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Charlize Theron and Idris Elba in
Charlize Theron and Idris Elba in "Prometheus"

"Prometheus" has landed -- at least for some critics.

The highly anticipated Ridley Scott blockbuster -- which lives in the same universe as Scott's seminal 1979 sci-fi film "Alien" -- arrives in theaters with mostly positive reviews and many head-scratching questions. (One of the many your friends at HuffPost Entertainment have: What is David doing?)

"[T]he virtuosity on display makes the weakness of the story -- the screenplay is by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof -- all the more frustrating," writes A.O. Scott in his wonderful New York Times review. "I’ll avoid spoilers here, but 'Prometheus' kind of spoils itself with twists and reversals that pull the movie away from its lofty, mind-blowing potential. Geeks and dreamers will hold onto scraps of splendor and wish for more. There are no revelations, only what are called, in the cynical jargon of commercial storytelling, 'reveals,' bits of momentarily surprising information bereft of meaning or resonance. For example: A sequel is coming."

The same things that frustrated A.O. Scott seemed to delight film critic Roger Ebert.

"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," Ebert writes in his four-star Chicago Sun-Times review. "This puzzle is embedded in an adventure film that has staggering visuals, expert horror, mind-challenging ideas and enough unanswered questions to prime the inevitable sequel."

Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum mostly agrees with Ebert, boiling down "Prometheus" to its essential core.

"All one needs to know to understand 'Prometheus' and honor 'Alien' is that women can be tough fighters," she writes, referring to Noomi Rapace's lead character Elizabeth Shaw. "That the characters with the goofiest accents get killed first. That nothing beats a really primo close-up of a gooey ET creature just before it goes berserk. And that, in the great tradition of the best sci-fi films, space would be a lot more boring without intrepid human idiots who touch stuff even when told 'Don't touch that!'"

Those "intrepid human idiots" are the one big flaw for Salon.com critic Andrew O'Hehir, who nonetheless writes that "Prometheus" "damn near lives up to the unsustainable hype, at least at the level of cinematography, production design, special effects and pure wow factor."

Still, those humans (played by Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Rafe Spall, Idris Elba and Charlize Theron among others) are troubling: "Do its so-called heroes really have to be such blithering New Age idiots?" O'Hehir writes. "Let’s allow for the narrative possibility that someone or something created human life, and/or all life on Earth. Is traveling to the edge of the universe to ask that entity why they did it likely to yield an interesting answer? If Dolly the cloned sheep had been able to talk, would she have chased those Scottish scientists into their lab and baaed for explanations? 'Because we could, sweetie. Now stop eating my trousers.'"

Of course, not everyone is as forgiving of the film's flaws.

"Watching 'Prometheus' is like opening a deluxe gift box from Tiffany’s to find a mug from the dollar store. Everything in the film’s first third primes you for what months of hype have promised," writes Ty Burr in the Boston Globe. "Yet somewhere along the way, you begin to detect the odor of thrice-cooked hash."

For more reviews check out RottenTomatoes.com. Find Twitter reactions to "Prometheus" in the slideshow below.

EARLIER: International critics weigh-in on "Prometheus"

'Prometheus' Reviews
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