Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons
March 29, 2013
Open Road Films
2 hours 5 minutes
I can't believe it, but Stephanie Meyer has done what I once believed to be the unthinkable: she actually made her characters possess real, genuine human emotions. Frankly, she doesn't do it as well as other authors have done it in the past, but at least the characters in her latest book-to-screen adaptation 'The Host' show at least a glimmer of happiness or sadness, unlike the emotionless characters in her popular 'Twilight' series. Instead of four books, 'The Host' is just one book and in no series at all. At least, that's how it is for the time being. The director and writer of this film is Andrew Niccol, who has written great movies like 'The Truman Show,' as well as mediocre movies like 'In Time.' The films stars include Saoirse Ronan from 'Hanna,' William Hurt, and Diane Kruger. In all honesty, this movie could have gone either way for me. For some reason, I kind of dug this movie. I don't exactly know why I enjoyed this movie, but I did, and I'm not ashamed.
In the near future, aliens have successfully occupied the bodies of nearly all of the humans worldwide and are "perfecting" Earth in order to make it a peaceful place. There is a small handful of humans left who haven't been occupied and are on the run from these aliens. One of these humans is Melanie Stryder, a teenager trying to keep her brother safe. In order to save her brother and her newly found friend/lover Jared, she sacrifices herself to the aliens in a suicide attempt. After the attempt fails, her body is occupied by an alien known as "Wanderer," or "Wanda" for short. It turns out that Melanie is still alive inside Wanda's head and is able to communicate mentally with the host. The two end up in a refugee camp with Jared, Melanie's brother, and others. Through Wanda, Melanie tries to convince everyone she loves that she is still alive. Unfortunately, that job's gonna be a little hard as nobody is able to see past the glowing eyes. Plus, the aliens are looking for Wanda as they suspected that Melanie was still mentally alive inside Wanda.
As someone who finds 'The Twilight Saga' a guilty pleasure due to their campiness, I was a little interested in this movie. Sure enough, what I was expecting from the film, which included a cheesy love story and some unintentionally hilarious moments, was received successfully. However what I didn't expect to get was some decent acting and a somewhat interesting story. 'The Host' is heavily flawed without a doubt, but I just don't understand the hate for the movie. In all honesty, I think that people just hate this movie because it's from the woman who's responsible for the 'Twilight' movies.
Frankly some of the things that people have said negatively about the movie, including the excessive running time on the movie and the countless slow moments scattered throughout the movie, are dead on. However the script and acting complaints just don't make a lot of sense to me. The actors tried their hardest with the material they were given. The script wasn't even as shallow as many other movies have been in the past. The "Twi-Hards" will without a doubt dig this movie. So will the people who go in expecting nothing more than a campy and cheesy ripoff of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers.' Sure a lot of the characters in the movie are annoying jerks, the story and script are a little cheesy, some of the mental conversations between Melanie and Wanda are unintentionally hysterical, and the movie's 2 hour runtime does drag on a little, but there is some good acting present from Saoirse Ronan, Jake Abel, and William Hurt, the story is somewhat interesting and creative, and there's something to it that makes it an enjoyable sci-fi romance flick. 'The Host' is far from a perfect movie, but it's also far from a terrible movie, and overall something that I would probably watch again if it was on TV late one night.
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