It’s been exactly 30 years since Prometheus director Ridley Scott delivered his last science-fiction thriller Blade Runner, a film so beautifully crafted it now serves as a kind of gold standard for the genre. But where Blade Runner blended sci-fi with detective fiction, and served up a memorable tale of robots more “human” than their flesh-and-blood inventors, Prometheus piles up random plot points and meaningless references to other movies (including both Blade Runner and Scott’s other sci-fi success, Alien) without developing anything resembling a coherent story. Co-written by Damon Lindelof, creator of the similarly troubled TV show Lost, Prometheus doesn’t really make sense or have anything much to say. The visual effects—like those of Blade Runner—are positively mind-blowing, especially in the movie’s depiction of high technology as it might exist in the 2090s. But Scott, who directed films like Thelma and Louise and Gladiator over the last three decades, should have known that a good story had to come first.