This weekend I made it a point to go out and catch the first midnight of The Thing, the new prequel to one of my all time favorite films: The Thing... I'm cool with using the same title personally. It does have a number of cross-over moments with the original which is what makes the idea so much fun. Anyway, the major complaints from reviewers are as follows:
1. The movie is a carbon copy of the original.
Response: It's really really not. I promise you at the very least it is not the same movie. Some elements are the same because the variables of the creature its self must remain in order to stay true to form. But the greater majority of the film is its own thing. It even paces its self differently which may hurt it, but at least it is its own movie.
2. The ending is weak.
Response: Yes the initial ending may be a little weak, but it ask a number of interesting questions... like what world would spawn a creature like this? How intelligent is the creature really? Besides, if you wait just a few moments after the credits begin rolling, you are treated to an excellent little bit of cinema that legitimately made me gitty. I'm a fanboy for John Carpenter's flick so nothing makes me happier than properly being set up for that superior film.
3. The main character seems to have already seen the original film given her knowledge of the creature.
Response: That is a joke. When you see the original film, that test scene is genius and you know what(?) a little too smart for Kurt Russell's character. All-be-it cool. I love that sequence. So when we get to a similar sequence in this prequel I was actually really happy with the choice Mary Elizabeth Winstead made. It was an excellent example of taking two different characters in similar situations with different backgrounds and giving them different logical realizations. Surprisingly, Mary's actually makes more sense. This may be the element that most kept me in the movie, enjoying the movie.
In Short: The Thing (2011) is an alright flick. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a good actress and while Joel Edgerton seems like a would-be Kurt Russell he's still quite good. The CG doesn't look as good as the practical effects of the original, but it's not bad. Honestly, if a few more things had happened in that finale I think I would have loved it. So if you like the original at all, this is worth a view. It's more interesting, in my opinion, to go out and see a connected story than a full on remake. That's what Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes did. Though Rise stood well on its own merits (that franchise always called for a more realistic Ape). The Thing is more like another chance to see what this creature does. I think it's unlikely this will lead to any further sequels/prequels. But it was nice to get just a semi-interesting one off like an additional episode.