The air of expectation surrounding Ridley Scott’s loosely-related Alien (1979) prequel Prometheus (2012) was unnerving in itself, let alone the feelings of suspense one might actually expect to find within the film. Fans wanted to like this; many hoped for a pay-off after the two Alien vs. Predator (2004, 2007) cash-ins, not to mention the expensive (space)shipwreck that was Alien Resurrection (1997). Too bad. I repeat, too bad. And ‘bad’ being just the operative word; bad pacing, bad character development, bad – no shameful – blockbuster pandering and a bad over-the-top and over-revealing cinematic intro makes this film, well – bad. Even competent performances from Noomi Rapace (Elizabeth) and Michael Fassbender (synthetic David) can’t save it; their ambiguous relationship is not explored as successfully as it could have been, presumably because Scott is too busy coming up with innumerable other nods to the Alien franchise. The one really tense and disturbing scene: a self-operation to remove an unpleasant guest nearly redeems the confused narrative, but then the bad pacing and myriad of other problems start back up. Guy Pearce wearing more make-up than he did in Priscilla’ (1994) in an attempt to pull-off the old-rich-man-who-wants-to-live-forever cliché only adds unintended comic relief. Did I mention that Prometheus still outdoes Alien Resurrection? Conclusion: less unnerving, more irritating.