Friday, August 10, 2012

film review - The Thing (2011) - Prometheus non-prequel?

The Thing (2011) goes back and examines the action in the Scandinavian base that took place just before the action in the American base in one of my MOST FAVOURITE films of all time, John Carpenter's The Thing (1982). I can't understand why this 2011 prequel got such an amount of stick from tonnes of reviewers, it really does all it needs to do. It's a worthy sequel, why?

"It does exactly what it says on the tin," in that it GETS YOU TO THAT POINT IN THE 1982 version where the dog-shooting action starts.

And it does it in a funny, intelligent and properly vicious and surrealistically f***ed-up-and-paranoid way, and there's social politics, too. It's all in there. Even the two-faced thing the Americans find and take back to base is here; we see its 'facial contact' origins. We see the suicides with icicles of blood and all'a that. There's even a sense of the musical beats from Carpenter's original, too. This film has its own 'alien test' and it's a corker, subtle; poignant. And this is an all-star Scandinavian cast, not just a bunch of actors putting on some funny accent - these are the creme de la creme, and it shows.

I sorta wished the whole 2011 film was in Scandinavian, with subtitles, that would have been 'icing on cake' but the American heroine was feisty enough - and that spaceship, real proper nice.

Anyway, if Ridley Scott's P R O M E T H E U S had just got on with 'scaring the shit out of us' and explaining, as Ridley Scott promised, how the Elephantine(spacejockey)Ganesha got to be in his timespace telescope chair with a hole in his chest, how/why it crash landed on LV-426, how/why the distress signal was activated, when he marketed that thing as a prequel, even if he only did it in the last five minutes as the The Thing 2011 prequel did, just tied it all together in two hours, maybe it wouldn't have got such 'stick' from the critics.

You could have inserted all'a that lovely black goo genetic stuff (though not necessarily as an Ancient People's pointing at a star constellation narrative device) and you wouldn't necessarily had to go through the whole xenomorph standards like facehuggers and chestbursters, and you could have still aimed your story DIRECTLY at Ridley Scott's seminal 1979 classic, Alien, without too much prequel pain (for the die-hard fan). Ya know?

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