I'm going to try and break this review into two parts. First, I want to address those of you are not familiar with the universe that Ridley Scott created with 1979's Sci-Fi Horror film Alien. The second part will attempt to answer some of the questions that the fan boys have without any spoilers.
In the beginning of Prometheus two archaeologists discover a series of drawings in ancient caves that all have the same star pattern which they believe to be an invitation to come visit the "engineers" as they call them. So, they set out across space, the only part of this journey we see is what the synthetic life form and caretaker of the crew-in-stasis does to pass the time. Basically, he tries to become more human. After landing on the planet, they find a structure and as they explore it, they learn that there is a much more sinister, terrifying truth to the invitation written on the cave walls back on Earth.
Prometheus has a lot of subplots going on within it. Nearly each character has his or her own agenda and they seem to cover nearly all the angles you'd expect. The two scientists simply wish to know the origin of man, the pilot and crew are just there to do the job, while the company that financed the operation has more sinister, hidden plans.
It's a long movie but it feels very quick. The pace is set from the beginning and doesn't slow down. Most films have a good time to go to the restroom, Prometheus does not. It's also probably the best 3D I've seen on the big screen since Avatar.
For those of you familiar with the Alien franchise, let me be clear about this: Prometheus is not a prequel to Alien. Yes, it has very similar elements. It takes place in the same universe as the Alien franchise but it's NOT a prequel. The "xenomorph" does not make an appearance, although other creatures in the film bear some resemblance, like a cousin or half-sibling. The "company" is at the heart of everything in the film and you don't quite know what the synthetic member of the crew is really up to. Overall, it feels very much like the first Alien film but with a bigger sense of curiosity.
Not only has Ridley Scott done an amazing job of recreating the tension of Alien he has successfully reopened the door to that world. He answers many questions left behind by the earlier films but doesn't tie directly to them. Same universe, different storyline.
It may answer all of the questions that most would like from a prequel, but it comes pretty darn close.
I give Prometheus 10 stars out of 11.
Should you see the other Alien films before this one? I'm not sure. Initially, I would say "yes" but it might be more fun to see how it all turns out after watching Prometheus.