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‘Prometheus’ marks a very welcome return to the sci-fi genre for director Ridley Scott. The film feels like an amalgam of the two classics he created in the genre – it has the occasional bursting intensity of Alien, and the slightly cold existential leanings of Blade Runner.

This is a spectacle of ideas, though a few of these ideas don’t feel fully explored, particularly in its subtext of faith. What’s most striking about the film is the characteristic that always distinguishes Scott’s films – the jaw-droppingly imaginative visual design that constantly stimulates and amazes even when the rendering of its story concepts feels slightly sluggish.

There are definitely echoes of the original Alien here, but it lacks that film’s sense of suffocating claustrophobia and ultra-tight structure. In fairness, it’s not designed to exactly duplicate those qualities; it’s operating on a broader, more ambitious (but occasionally unfocused) canvas.

On the technical side, the 3D effects are realized with great subtlety, perhaps too much so. Scott doesn’t utilize the depth of the 3D format as strikingly as one would have hoped, and the film would likely play just as well without it. But the CG effects are extraordinary, and feel incredibly organic – through much of the film, you can’t tell the practical from the digitized.

The cast standout is Michael Fassbender, who gives a graceful physicality to his non-human role.