It's not Alien and it sure as hell ain't Blade Runner but I found it to be one of the most enjoyable cinematic experiences I've had in a long time, although strictly a great visual experience as opposed to an intellectual one - the first act in particular and the introduction of David is amazing in 3D. But great visuals is something to be expected from a Ridley Scott film and they do not make up for a messy final act.
I don't agree that Prometheus is pretentious, I feel it does a noble job at trying to please both the thinking man and those who love blockbusters without trying to be predominantly one thing or the other. I like the faith and belief angle, even if it is only briefly touched upon. However, in trying to appease the blockbuster-hungry audience, Scott has yet again copped out, much like how Robin Hood became typical, mundane and by-the-book instead of the unique interpretation of folklore that was originally intended.
I liked Fassbender, I liked Rapace and I liked Elba. Beyond those three, the characters and performances are forgettable and AVP springs to mind. Even Resurrection has a stronger and more memorable supporting cast than this. Shaw and Holloway (and I mean the characters, not so much the actors) must be one of the most unbelievable screen couples I have ever seen. Holloway is an arsehole and Shaw is several classes above him. Also, the Scottish actress who plays the medic is utterly horrendous. Theron isn't much better, particularly in the scene between her and Pearce which comes across as a bizarre nod to the "I wan't more life, father" scene from Blade Runner. Her line delivery here is particularly awful and the supposed 'mystery' as to whether she is a robot or not is extremely poor, predictable and unnecessary, especially considering that you already have one robot who may or may not have sinister intent.
I won't say that this was disappointing as, after Robin Hood, I wasn't expecting much. I enjoyed the ride immensely and it's a satisfying prequel to the original film. But this could have been so much more and, outside of the cinema, this probably won't amount to much. Hopefully a director's cut may be one the way but, as it stands, it's not quite the return to form from Scott that I was hoping for. As I've said, visually this is fantastic in 3D.