The Thing (2011)
Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgarton, Eric Christian Olsen, and Ulrich Thomson
Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr.
I must be honest here -- I didn't realize that I was watching a prequel at all and only discovered that information when I was looking up a bit of research for this review. The reason I wasn't aware of that is because this movie is essentially telling the same plot of the original (or at least it seemed to be the same plot to this moviegoer who hadn't seen the original in years). It's simple -- an alien life form wreaks havoc on a research crew in Antarctica. There's really nothing else that needs to be said. We're not reinventing the wheel here. And that's perfectly fine. There are some scares here and there -- too few, though -- and the acting is fine although all the characters end up blending together because they're given no discernible personalities. (Although kudos to Mary Elizabeth Winstead for giving her scientist gal role a strong edge that proved to be compelling to watch.)
Unfortunately, unlike the original which knows what it sets out to be and is admittedly just an alien attack flick, this prequel foolishly (SPOILER ALERT) takes us onto the alien ship in the final act -- a plot point which feels incredibly forced and ultimately unnecessary since what happens on the ship is decidedly pointless in the long run. (END SPOILERS) This screeches the film to a halt at the exact point it should be ratcheting up the tension and ends things on a sour note to be sure.
The RyMickey Rating: C