That was an odd movie. Definitely not a wholly satisfying one. It was intriguing for the first hour or so -- it felt like it was leading up to something really grand, but in the end, the film just doesn't add up to very much. It went completely off the rails in the final act, despite some nifty visuals.
I think I found it more frustrating than anything else; I don't mind a bit of mystery or ambiguity in a movie, but with a near-total absence of answers or hints (other than "you might find out in the sequel"), it's a bit of a cheat.
The main things I was wondering about
: just what is that black goo? Does it have a specific purpose/function? And what are the motivations of the Engineers (in particular, why is the one that's still alive such a violent, aggressive asshole)?
Characters were also a mixed bag. As has been mentioned, David was a stand-out, and I thought Janek was pretty cool too. Shaw was all right, although she's certainly no Ripley (yeah, it may be a bit unfair to start making comparisons to Alien
, which is a completely different film, but it is kind of inevitable).
Vickers had her moments, but I think she needed a bit more fleshing out, particularly with regard to the family dynamic between her, Weyland, and David (which was hinted at, but not explored to its full potential, IMO). It feels like a lot of stuff was left on the cutting room floor, and that this is one of the numerous Ridley Scott films that improves with a director's cut. However, someone earlier in the thread said he's not going to do one; if that's true, it's a shame.
Despite all my issues with the film, I'm giving it a B-
(which is, I'll admit, perhaps an act of generosity motivated somewhat by my admiration for Scott's previous works). For all the flaws with the script, the movie certainly looks great, has a solid first half, and features a few compelling performances. If there's a sequel, I just hope it can rectify some of the issues that are present in this picture.