Hollywood is running out of ideas. Box offices are beaten down by remake after remake. “The Thing” is actually a very bad prequel, not a remake, but it’s still part of Hollywood’s infatuation with recycling old themes.
Flixster’s latest review gives “The Thing” a 33 percent critic approval rating and 73 percent user approval rating. Fully aware that the Sci-Fi genre often ranks low with critics but high with users, fans of the genre still had reason to go in with high expectations and a bag full of popcorn.
Unfortunately, in this case the critics were right. This film will not be taking home any awards for science fiction, plot, acting or even special effects. The characters are as dull and lifeless as the frozen Antarctic backdrop. The plot is part “Alien” a la Sigourney Weaver films and part ”Mimic” with Mira Sorvino. Stealing themes from these movies might be the only good thing that can be said about it.
Although this film is by the same producers as “Dawn of the Dead” they don’t live up to their own high standards. “The Thing” tries to make this last stand for humanity and fails in comparison. It’s so frustrating because this movie could be great. They could delve into the alien lore a little further or show why these aliens are able to clone humans (or carbon based life forms, as we learn at the end). But they don’t.
The plot just feels like something that’s been done and over done before. The difference is these movies usually seek a unique angle to appeal to a new audience who weren’t alive for the movies when they were released the first time. But there’s nothing fresh about this film. The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead who played Bruce Willis’ daughter in the most recent installation of the “Die Hard” films and also Ramona Flowers in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” Her acting is fine, but she cannot carry an entire movie.
It’s also hard to believe that Winstead’s character — a graduate student — was the one chosen for an Antarctic expedition. It’s unbelievable that her level of scientific knowledge is just what this expedition needed. This may have been an attempt at grabbing a fresh audience by using a younger actress, but they should have chosen a stronger lead.
Those on the expedition also found an alien spacecraft and nothing was ever really explained about it. They touch on the idea that maybe the aliens crash-landed on earth a long time ago, but that’s it: just a theory. On top of this, “The Thing” lacked feeling. This film has nothing in the way of character development and against the icy backdrop, “The Thing” just feels cold and alien.
The film does end on a high note. In the end, the alien takes the shape of a dog and eludes the heroes of this film. Hopefully this dog is running to Hollywood to eat the proverbial homework of anyone working on another bad prequel.Contact Jason Simpson.