The Host 12A
We kick off with Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) chucking herself out a window to escape a group of aliens, who have come down to Earth and body-snatched over 99 per cent of us. War, hunger and pollution have been eradicated, but pockets of humanity didn't take too kindly to being systematically taken over, and Melanie was part of this resistance. Having somehow survived what should have been a fatal fall, Melanie's body gets taken over by the alien Wanderer - later nicknamed Wanda - but Melanie's "soul" still remains within, fighting Wanda's possession at every opportunity. This internal struggle gets doubly problematic when you take into account the fact that Melanie is in love with Jared (Max Irons), but Wanda's beginning to fall in love with Ian (Jake Abel).
Writer/director Andrew Niccol knows his way around sci-fi (Gattaca, The Truman Show) but here he's burdened by having only Stephanie Meyer's events-lite novel to work from, and a very specific demographic to aim for. There is evidence of a more interesting film beneath the surface, and had Niccol been allowed to take the source material in a more risque direction, it could've been a neat sci-fi take on the difficulties of a polyamorous relationship. But no, it's just another boring love triangle that vaguely has something to do with aliens.
Ronan is pretty good in the lead, but 90 per cent of the movie has her talking to herself, and for the other 10 per cent she's making out with one of the guys, so she's not exactly being challenged. Irons and Abel are more handsome than talented, and folk like Diane Kruger and William Hurt show up to lend the movie some gravitas, but more often than not they fail.
At two hours, the movie feels twice that, with long stretches of nothing happening to leave you asking endless questions like; Why do the aliens like white pantsuits so much? Why are all the vehicles painted metallic chrome? If the only way you can spot an alien is from their eye colour, why don’t the humans just stick on some contact lenses? And how exactly did the first human get taken over if the jellyfish-aliens are three inches long and have no form of weaponry? But The Host is more interested in who you think is cuter, Jared or Ian?
But here's another question; Should you go see The Host? Answer: No.
Story by Rory Cashin | 14:01 | Friday 9th August 2013 | DVD review