Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Host – review

The Host is a science fiction movie based off the Stephenie Meyer novel of the same name.  The movie is much like a The Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Puppet Masters rip off with a sappy script, plot holes, terrible characters, and a love story less believable than a fairy tale.  The film is depressing considering there are cast members that are decent actors and have been in other things that are much better.

The Host begins telling us about how humanity was conquered by an alien parasite.  The alien species has basically taken over most of the population and created a world of peace; no more hunger or environmental issues.  They find a human girl named Melanie, played by Saoirse Ronan, who is running from them and implant one of their own in her.  The alien parasite calls itself Wanderer and begins to have dialogue with the stolen will of the body it now possesses. 

Melanie is an incredibly weak character. Considering the acting chops that Ronan usually brings to her roles. Diane Kruger and Emily Browning are also in this movie and seem to be looking to cash in on being in a Meyer’s film.  There is no reason for the romance between some of the characters other than pure lust, and their motivations are highly suspect.  It makes you root for the aliens and not the humans.

Upon first seeing Melanie as Wanderer, her family beats her like a police officer interrogating a suspect. While the humans threaten to kill her in almost every scene, the aliens promise peace and don’t desire to kill- just implant their own species in humans.  It makes you want the aliens to win. 

Then there are holes too numerous to mention. For example: If the aliens are helpless squid-like creatures, who implanted them in the first human to begin with?  If the creatures refuse to kill humans or use guns, how did they take over humanity?  If they are fine removing the aliens and sending them to another planet, doesn’t that simply doom another race? What’s to stop them from returning?  There are a lot of things that they just didn’t thing about at all.

I know this Melanie girl is supposed to have this amazing will power to be able to overcome this alien inside her. However, it is really too much to buy that a young girl with a lusty romance and a young brother has more will to live than say- a parent or a married couple.  It wouldn’t be as bad if it had any spirit or actually wanted to be something innovative.  Instead it plays it safe and goes the route of every other young adult romance and has a happy ending that is so sappy they should ride off on a unicorn.

The movie is a real stinker.  The Host shows no skill for story or for interesting characters that have useful motivations. The movie is annoying and should be avoided at all costs.   There are just too many movies that are similar concepts that you should watch instead like Invasion of the Body Snatcher or The Puppet Masters.  Those will at least give you the appropriate sense of dread from a true alien threat.

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