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Much like the Thing it depicts, this film ends up a facsimile. In this case, it reproduces John Carpenter's masterful The Thing theme-for-theme, despite claiming a "prequel" tag. (Since when has that been a badge of honour?) Unlike the eponymous monster, which adds blood-splattered fun to its copies, this film adds nothing to the existing mythology. Not a Thing. Ha ha ha. We've seen all of this before, and the "Now With Added CGI!!! Kapow!!!! 1000% Of Your RDI!!!" only further detracts. Not even the backstory of how that axe got there in Carpenter's original* can redeem it.
*Technically a remake; practically an original.
Looks fantastic, but as shallow as a shadow. If I may:
1. Give the characters real names and some sort of back story, not just "The Priest", etc.
2. Stop with the vampires. Give us another monster. Demons, perhaps.
3. Give the Priest some temptation. Character development.
4. Make Black Hat's descent emotionally powered, not just bitten by a vampire. Character development.
5. Give the Priestess some temptation. Character development.
6. Nix the sheriff and his awful, awful dialogue.
7. Nix the kidnapped girl.
8. Fuck it. Start over.
All surface. Photoshop chalk & charcoal filter-applied surface. Yes it's gorgeous, but it's like watching someone else play a video game. Perhaps there is subtext behind it all, a celebration of a commentary on the use of meta-story to contravene society's mis-pre-conceptions of violence as a means to an end of and for itself. Or something. If there was, I couldn't fucking see it.
I just got bored instead.
Whereas 2001 was the Mona Lisa, this is a join-the-dots in a Sunday paper. For all the use of voiceover and exposition and purportedly showing what happens after the events of that immeasurably better first movie, it told me nothing.
Give me a P. Give me an O. Give me an I. Give me an N. Give me a T. Give me an L. Give me an E. Give me an S. Give me another S. What do you have?
No. No. No. CGI gophers: no. CGI ants: no. CGI stunts, including flying fridges, vine swinging, driving down waterfalls: no. CGI jungle with sword fight slash truck chase featuring no peril: no. CGI aliens, are they good or are they bad: no. Mutt: no. May as well have been CGI. Motorcycle chase: yes, actually; that was pure Indy.
Anyway, fuck you, Lucas. And you, Spielberg, for not kicking Lucas in the nads and saying "No".
So I was abducted by greys the other day, and instead of their usual probing, they subjected me to this.
"It's got that guy from Scrubs," they told me. "Not the main guy, the other one, the black one —
"We're not racist, by the way."
Why are they being kind? I thought.
Wrong. They weren't. The film's premise did have potential, but in the end it hurt my brain and I would rather have had the probes.