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Warner Brothers, 2007, Rated PG-13, 1 hr. 39 min.
This latest remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers makes you yearn for the original. From the plot to the acting, this film was just plain awful.
The movie opens with psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Kidman) ransacking a pharmacy for drugs to help her stay awake. The opening scene shows promise of a fast-paced, suspenseful movie. That hope is dashed as we rewind to figure out why Bennell is trying to stay awake.
We next see the crash of a space shuttle and the subsequent investigation into the cause, which unveils alien matter in the wreckage. People who come in contact with this matter and then fall asleep wake up different - they display no emotion, as the alien matter invades their body while they sleep. Bennell and her almost-boyfriend Dr. Ben Driscoll (Craig) must race to safety while trying to find Carol's son, Oliver, whose blood may hold an immunity to the virus.
The movie is disjointed and the scenes oddly incorporated without continuity. It's a simple plot so this doesn't effect the understanding of the film, but it decreases the effect of a movie that has actors of this caliber.
While the movie had some suspenseful moments, it is marred by superfluous (and as I've said, disjointed) scenes and bad character development. The characters don't seem particularly shocked or surprised by the invasion, which is what the whole movie suffers from - lack of emotion -as if the actors were invaded before shooting the movie. The result is a scene-by-scene like read-through - one moment the world is fine, the next it's not. And if the actors don't care, the viewers don't care.
Jack Finney’s 1955 book "The Body Snatchers" was made into a movie in 1956, which was thought to be an allegory about America’s fear of a Communist takeover (not Finney's idea in writing the book). This movie didn't seem to know whether to go with Finney's entertainment version or the 1956 movie's commentary on society so they went with a little of each, making it confusing. There was a patriotic speech by Bennell at a dinner but it seemed to come from left field and was completely out of place.
The movie looks like it was made in the 1990s - from the hair to the clothes. Kidman slips in and out of her Australian accent and I couldn't get past her inflated lips (Botox, bee sting, I have no idea). Perhaps that was the reason it was hard for her to speak without her accent... Craig and Northam (as Bennell's ex-husband Tucker) are underutilized and couldn't save the movie.
The ending was ridiculous and unbelievable - even for an alien invasion movie. The movie is never creepy or scary and never makes you concerned about the welfare of the characters.
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Reviewed by: Hauntmistress, 9/10/2007
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