A new review from The Movie Snob.
The Host (C-). I knew this movie, based on a book by Twilight author Stephanie Meyer, was almost certainly going to be terrible, so why did I see it? Because it stars Saoirse Ronan, a young Irish actress who has impressed me with her talent in pretty much every film I have seen her in (City of Ember, Atonement, Hanna, The Way Back). I wondered, would she be able to overcome the almost certainly bad source material she’d be working with here? The answer is: not entirely. The premise is mostly Invasion of the Body Snatchers, mixed with a bit of Starman. Aliens called “souls” have taken over the bodies of almost every human being on Earth, leaving only a few pockets of human resistance out in the hinterlands. Ronan’s character, Melanie, gets captured and possessed by a soul within the first few minutes of the movie, but her alien possessor is surprised to find out that Melanie’s consciousness is still present inside her head and quite resentful of the occupation. Melanie persuades the soul to go AWOL with her body, and the rest of the movie involves pursuit by a dogged alien “seeker” (Diane Kruger, Troy) and Melanie’s efforts to persuade the alien in her body that maybe it’s not so nice to steal other species’ bodies from them. Unfortunately, the movie is weak in several respects. It’s too long (2 hours and 5 minutes) and draggy. The dialogue (including the occasional internal dialogue between Melanie and her alien soul) is frequently wooden, and the suspenseful moments are not very suspenseful. Several of the actors are just not very good. Still, Ronan deserves some credit for making her weird character at least somewhat believable and sympathetic despite the underwhelming script. In sum, the movie’s not a complete turkey, but I really can’t give it a thumbs up.