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Prometheus Review: An Alien Reboot with Solid Scares

06/08/2012 at 03:30 PM EDT

Prometheus Review: An Alien Reboot with Solid Scares
Michael Fassbender
Twentieth Century FOX

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How's this for a Father's Day conversation piece: an Alien reboot with Daddy issues?

In the film Prometheus, questioning where humans come from, scientists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) board the spaceship Prometheus bound for a planet far from Earth that's depicted in cave drawings. The crew includes amiable Capt. Janek (Idris Elba), corporate suit Vickers (Charlize Theron) and android David (Michael Fassbender, courtly and fiendish in equal doses).

Thanks to director Ridley Scott's 1979 Alien, we know not to trust the droid. In fact, once the film's first hour puts the pieces in place, it's obvious how the second will unfold. Having taught us the Alien vocabulary of squidlike predators that infest humans, then burst out as even more horrific monsters, Scott can hardly be surprised that we know what's coming.

That's not to detract from the many things Prometheus does well, including excellent performances, solidly jumpy scares and effects that are the best excuse for 3-D since Avatar. And even if the film's who's-our-daddy drama isn't enthralling, I'll still take my dad to see it.

Prometheus opens June 8.

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