I didn't see this in 3D (there are places to see any movie without having to change out of your PJs or download torrents and such) but I can imagine the 3D the effects were eye popping.
SPOILER ALERT (kinda) don't read the bold if you are going to see it.
I set some flaws with the concept of what the ancestors planned to do at the end of the movie and how we traveled half a billion miles to find the last of a race of humanoidial types and find one lone survivor when everyone else has been dead 2000 years.
I bugged me that the ancestors had no PLAN B, not to leave out that I saw no reason for their PLAN A. I just hate loopholes in plots.
The Android character creeped me out, although I'm not sure if that was intentional or not. But I see him too similar to Lance Hendricksen's character in Alien, and the heroin here as a Sigorney Weaver spin-off, although much more frail. It's hard not to root for the little guy/gal.
It's not like there isn't an original idea in the whole film, I thought the flame thrower was a pretty freakin sick option - lol, especial when the threat was outside the ship. I sat thinking of scenes I have seen before that when stitched together could make a similar film from cutting room scraps: a few Chronicles of Riddick out takes, definitely a few from Preditor vs. Aliens (a pretty cool movie - the one inside the pyramid) a short plot line from Transformers, plus that Mars movie with Schwarzenegger and a few others films like the Red Planet.
I don't know from the movie IF the ancestors actually had checked on us (if I missed that part, then I'm not sure why the final scenes, which as you said could setup a sequel) or possible and better yet a prequel that better explained this film, involving the ancestors checking on their work and unknown to the people of this story.
But I agree that most stories in the Sci-Fi genre either have you endless floating around space in a garbage barge or abandoned with no chance to return home and magically a ship appears to rescue the lone survivor as they picked up a random distress call as they were trans-versing the galaxy "in" their garbage barge - lol. Those plots are overly used in films and this movie had a refreshing, albeit a reverse version of the generic terraforming plot of Sci-Fi films.
The thought of life only 500 million miles away (Mars being 30 million on a good day) and in the grand scheme of things we are VERY close to our Sun, but half a billion really doesn't even get you outside our solar system, once you get past Saturn, all the other planets are about a billion miles apart - so if we have mastered warp speeds or stasis then the old theory of "By time you get where you are going, technology at home has evolved enough to beat you to where you are going and have a condo ready for you when you get there". Which in fact seems likely except for budgetary reasons. Which has me wondering, if Obama gets out of office, do we still have to land a craft of an asteroid and ride it around the galaxy like Bruce Willis??? I know an attempt to come in range of an asteroid has been accomplished, but I think Obama want to get Steve Buscemi up there.
I've written a hundred posts here about us being seeded here on Earth and someone returning to check on the zoo at some point to see how we turned out - I think it funny that generally we all figure we'd make our farmers happy on how us veggies turned out.
I think this might be an issue where my love in film is horror and not really sci-fi so much. Even though the story line is right up my alley.
ON A REAL NOTE - a nuclear powered rover/craft of OURS will be landing on Mars in August. The sampling equipment aboard will be testing for such things as testing to see if oxygen existed at any previous time through some new microscopy. Interestingly, a resent change in the landing sight occurred - given this project has been on the to do list for some time, why the change last minute where it will land?
But I still want to know about Phobos, what is the interest of the European Space Union and Russians in Mar's smallest and most oddly shaped moon which orbits only a few thousand miles above Mars and appears to many people as if it were placed in orbit like a space station which has attracted space dust and other particles over a million or so years and now is 4X20 miles in sizes.
Makes you wonder, if our space station had a sustainable orbit and a million years went by, what might it look like? I'm just predicting that if anything happens on 12-21-12 (the dreaded Mayan Calendar date) it will be someone on our planet (whether on purpose or by leak) show evidence that "non-natural structures" exist either on Mars or Phobos and the paradigm shift from Roswell and area 51 where today 70% of people believe on life elsewhere, we will find out for sure that at least at one time other life forms, not just microbes existed and very close to home. Not that microbial life alone wouldn't satisfy, stun and rock our world some, but to find something substantial that was built by skilled creatures with tools and even more impressive, built similar to how we would build such a structure.
I know most of this post belongs in the Darkside forum, but it is more science now than fiction.