Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Thing (2011)

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Thing (2011) - 3 out of 5

Okay, so in 2011 we got a prequel to a remake with the same title as the remake.  In 1982, acclaimed director John Carpenter remade a 1951 stinker The Thing from Another World.  He made the film dark, scary, epic and plus it had Kurt Russell in it.  The movie was about an Antarctic research team who finds themselves terrorized and attack by a creature from another world that another research team unearthed.  Apparently, the Antarctic is over-flooding with research teams--they even have their own softball league and the games get pretty heated!  The problem this research teams sees (other than being attacked by a monster from beyond the stars) is the fact the creature can take the form of other people and terror and paranoia take over as anyone can be a threat.  This prequel, creatively titled The Thing (because The Thing:  Origins or The Thing:  Zero or The Thing Begins or Prelude to The Thing doesn't sound right...but a possible sequel The Thing 2:  Electric Boogaloo sounds terrific!), this prequel tells the story of the doomed Norwegian research crew who unearthed the demon from another world deep within the ice and opened John Carpenter's film with the iconic dog hunting sequence.
Normally this is where I would mention how I would fight 7 Evil Ex's for the hand of Mary Elizabeth
Winstead but I've already done that joke in a past blog.  Instead, I'm just going to say she's hot.
That was a rough sneeze.
The concept of seeing the events that were only hinted about in the 1982 classic was a great idea but the actually product was pretty low on the creativity department as the events that unfolded were nearly identical to the Kurt Russell film...and in this one, we don't even get the added bonus of Russell being in it.  In fact, this prequel is so "by the books" that you see every turn in the road the plot of the film takes miles before the turn actually arrives.  I was even able to accurate predict which members of the research crew would become the creature.  And that's pretty sad.
It's Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje a.k.a Mr. Eko from Lost.  As disappointing as this movie was
it still wasn't half as bad as Lost.  So this is a step up, Adewale!

Other than the predictable story and lack of creativity showing the events of the Norwegian crew lose all to the beast, the movie is mediocre in its entertainment value.  If you enjoy the 1982 film, you'll like this one because it revisits familiar territory and we get to see something that was only spoken of in the John Carpenter film.  However, when viewed on its own merit, the movie is disappointing.  Sure you get to see the alien in its true form but is that enough reason alone to have this film made or viewed?
Not the first terrible prequel Eric Christian Olsen has been in.  Ever see Dumb and
Dumberer
?  No?  Keep it that way.

One of the greatest aspects of John Carpenter's film is the tone and its amazing practical effects.  Without spoiling anything, watch the scene where a man is about to get a defibrillator treatment on his chest and try not to scream like a girl after the words "clear" are uttered.  Computer effects were non-existent when Kurt took on the Thing in the snow-filled tundra and seeing what passed for computer effects in this one can make a person weep.  The practical effects, make up and puppets used to create the Thing in the remake are better than the cartoon CG monster sequences we get in this one.  Hell, the guy in the suit in the 1951 original is better looking than the cartoon monsters in this one.
Joel Edgerton...the only shining light in this predictable film.  Shine on, Uncle Owen!

The Thing, from the title alone, sells what a viewer is about to see perfectly.  The story, characters and events are exactly the same as the 1982 film.  It's no wonder they didn't take the time to try and differentiate itself by coming up with an original title that points out that this is a prequel and not a remake.

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