Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Rafe Spall, Sean Harris, Guy Pearce, Kate Dickie

In many ways, Ridley Scott's heavily anticipated Alien prequel Prometheus ranks as the summer's most disappointing movie. Story-wise, it's a convoluted mess, a far-reaching meditation on mankind's origins that can't decide whether it's also a gruesome creature feature, an ambitious sci-fi action-adventure, or all of the above. And in the process of its own self-discovery, Prometheus alienates more than it welcomes.

But the infuriatingly clunky script can't detract from the film's eye-popping, visual grandiosity. Proving that the pupillary muscles he flexed while making Alien and Blade Runner haven't lost any strength in old age, Scott creates a futuristic landscape overflowing with imagination and compelling ideas. And when Prometheus emphasizes its freaky Alien connections, the director executes several dynamite sequences of gory intensity, namely a horrific, self-administered C-section fearlessly performed by an impressive Noomi Rapace.

Rapace and Michael Fassbender (whose superb turn as a conniving android is one of the movie's undeniable high points) help Scott to salvage the film's uneven narrative with sheer showmanship. They alone give purpose to the endless debates that have surrounded the divisive Prometheus since its early June release.