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"The Thing" A pale imitation of the original

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, The Thing 2011Eric Heisserer, John W. Campbell Jr.Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.Mary Elizabeth Winstead,Joel Edgerton,Ulrich Thomsen,Eric Christian Olsen,Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje,	Paul Braunstien,Trond Espen,Kim Bubbs,Jørgen Langhelle Bitter,Bitterometer,meter The Thing(2011)
 

“The Thing” is a prequel to the ‘80s movie by the same title. This time around we get to see what happened to the “Sweeds” as Mack called them, which were really Norwegians, as Dr. Cooper would correct him. Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep this as a subtitled movie and focus on the Nords and their struggle into paranoid social decay. Instead, we are forced to swallow the fact that the Nords, who this author thought were as stranded in solitude as the Americans, would call some lady from the US to investigate what they had found. Are their no Nordic specialists in ancient artifacts/paleontology? Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is that graduate student/specialist in ancient artifacts/paleontologist that is brought on to help investigate the discovery of an alien ship that was discovered in the Antarctic. That’s right, this time there is a woman, NAY two, involved in dealing with the human copying menace.

The troubles with the screenplay start with the inclusion of women. The original film was devoid of women, sympathy for the gender and/or interest. It was men stuck in a bad situation and dealing with it the way that men do. I don’t believe it’s sexist to say that this is the first problem with the prequel. First of all, it’s odd to think that a woman in the ‘80s would be stuck in the Antarctic with a bunch of men. Second, this should change the nature of the relationships between the characters, but the screenplay fails to include this in the story’s overall arch or the it’s character’s relationship behavior. Kate is no Ripley (from Aliens) yet all the Nords fall in line and follow her every command with nary an argument.

The second problem with this film is that the thing itself is much too aggressive and not nearly as psychological as a thing movie should be. There is a lot of screaming and entrapment by the creature and none of it is nearly as covert as the thing has been seen to behave in the former film. This film, like the original, should focus on drawing you in and playing the suspense angle to its advantage. Instead, we are shown some kind of creature feature that doesn’t live up to the original.

The direction, while missing the point, is OK. The performances are good enough to carry the film. The score is lacking the ability to add the vibe and or style that the original did. The project as a whole manages to prove that this prequel is just not necessary. We got all the information we needed on what happened with the Nords in the first film and the inclusion of women and Americans just seems forced and not well thought out. Seeing the alien ship's internals was slightly cool, but still not cool enough to make up for the fact that this prequel is unwelcome, unneeded and not as good as it should have been. Also, why did the alien exit the ship after 100,000 years and how did it survive in there THAT long? Yeah, total B.S.

As I left the theater, I visited the men’s restroom. While there I heard two men talking and one told the other, “What you have to remember is that this was an ‘imitation’ of the original.” I’d say this was pretty close to true facts, but imitations are never as great as the originals.

Trailer:

Official website:
The Thing

Pics:
The Thing2011Eric Heisserer, John W. Campbell Jr.Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.Mary Elizabeth Winstead,Joel Edgerton,Ulrich Thomsen,Eric Christian Olsen,Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje,	Paul Braunstien,Trond Espen,Kim Bubbs,Jørgen Langhelle  The Thing2011Eric Heisserer, John W. Campbell Jr.Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.Mary Elizabeth Winstead,Joel Edgerton,Ulrich Thomsen,Eric Christian Olsen,Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje,	Paul Braunstien,Trond Espen,Kim Bubbs,Jørgen Langhelle 

Credits:
Directed by: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Written by: Eric Heisserer, John W. Campbell Jr.
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Paul Braunstien, Trond Espen, Kim Bubbs, Jørgen Langhelle


Source of the Bitter: JAS

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