Prometheus does a fair amount right as it launches an exploratory team into space to discover what may be the origin of humanity itself. Anthropologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead the scientific crew to a planet, guided by the pictography of an ancient civilization, where the mysterious structures discovered upon arrival indicate the presence of intelligent life. The corporation that financed the mission, represented on the ship by Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) and a robot named David (Michael Fassbender), may have its own agenda for what they might discover there, but all plans could be put on hold when it becomes clear that something unfriendly is creeping about. The “unfriendly something” is what a lot of folks are coming to see, but Scott, working from a script by Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour) and Damon Lindelof (Lost), tiptoes deftly around the director’s showcase sequences. As spectacular as Prometheus is from a production design standpoint — even providing a rare superb moment in the now-omnipresent use of 3-D — it’s actually got some heady ideas percolating beyond baseline summer blockbuster material. Dr. Shaw’s quest for understanding these star-farers who may have birthed humanity is an opportunity to dig into what it is we consider the characteristics of “God” and how we deal with being disappointed by Him. And as the consequences of dabbling with the fundamental nature of life begin to mount, Prometheus becomes a compelling case for the difference between playing God and being God. Prometheus offers a story that’s effective on its own merits; the main thing that stands in its way is the history that may have piqued Ridley Scott’s interest in the first place.