Certificate 12A, 125 minutes, ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, Atonement, The Lovely Bones) stars in this movie adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s 2008 novel, The Host.
At first you’d be forgiven for drawing parallels with Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and yes we have glowing alien centipedes that inhabit the brains of their hosts, but that’s pretty much where the similarity ends. You see, these aliens are nice.
And that’s the problem.
We have an exciting first reel (do they still have reels? maybe I should just say first 20 minutes…) in which Melanie (Ronan) is chased down, tries to kill herself but is saved, healed and implanted by a “Soul” called Wanderer. Then we find out that the Souls’ take over of humans is not as complete as they’d have us believe, and Melanie is still in there, fighting to regain control. She manages to make Wanderer flee into the desert where she’s found by Uncle Jeb (William Hurt).
After that it goes all new age eco weird.
There’s the usual Meyer inter-species love triangle, but the twist this time is that it’s a four-way triangle with only three bodies (you just know how that’s going to end…), but the two boys are pretty bland and uninteresting, the obsessive baddie cop “Seeker” (Diane Kruger) sent out to catch Wanderer/Melanie (who has been nicknamed Wanda in an effort to get the movie over a bit quicker) is ineffectual, which means we’re left with the internal two people in one body conflict to carry the tension. And it fails. It just comes over as one person with an occasional twitch and a reverbed voice over from time to time.
But the chrome Lotus Evoras were nice (as was the chrome R44), and the cavern complex with hand-cranked mirrors for lighting was truly stunning.
But scenery and shiny cars a good movie do not make. Shame. 5/10