Monday, November 18, 2013

Now on Netflix: The Host (2013)

The Host (2013) - Written and Directed Andrew Niccol; Starring Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, William Hurt, Diane Kruger.

By Kenny Howell

Stephenie Meyer ruined vampires with Twilight, but can she ruin body snatchers?

Yes, yes she can.

In this one, an alien race of souls start inhabiting humans. It is believed that humans thoughts are erased in this process, but Melanie, played by Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) is able to hold onto hers. She becomes a dual personality, as she has inner conversations with her soul, who is named Wanderer. Wanderer is not exactly on board with her people's plan to eliminate all humans. Melanie goes back to find her people to help protect them, but they don't trust her because they believe the one they know is gone. Wanderer and Melanie must learn to work together to help stop this invasion.

Since this is written for teenage girls, the movie is not a pure sci-fi, but a love story under the cover of a sci-fi. Turns out the whole soul inside of a body thing can be affected by kisses from boys. The movie is kind of a tug of war between writer-director Andrew Niccol, who has a history in sci-fi (Gattaca), and Meyer, who is a youth lit writer obsessed with boyfriends. Niccol occasionally wins the battle to make this watchable, but not nearly enough. At least they found a way to keep thunder baseball out of it.

The Host is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: *

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