Reviewing movies is not something I generally do on Writeside or Writer’s Log, but it is high time there was an update, so let’s talk about The Invasion, which I watched on Sunday.
Well, anyway, the whole experience was filled with adventure and excitement. Till, that is, the movie started…
After braving the rain and water-logged streets, not to mention the early evening traffic, to reach the theatre, The Invasion was a bit of an anti-climax. Starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, it is a remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. To cut to the chase, it was pretty insipid fare. Originally supposed to have been released in 2006, there were major re-shoots and tweaking—I can’t remember why—before it finally made it to the screens in August 2007.
A basic alien-virus-running-riot plot, The Invasion offers little by way of innovative storyline. Having survived on a diet of science fiction over the past months, both the sibling and I found it especially lame. What it lacked in substance it tried to make up with loud noises, lots of blood and vomit (ick!), and fiery explosions, but the overall effect was of a badly-put-together project.
A mysterious space shuttle crash unleashes an alien infection that robs humans of their humanity. However, just being infected isn’t so bad—the change in people’s personalities manifests during REM sleep, so the trick is to stay awake. And thus begins the ordeal for Carol Bennell, a psychiatrist and single mother.
As more and more people are affected, they are driven to “upgrading” everyone else to the new, improved version of human beings, with no emotions, and hence no suffering, no war, and so on. Carol must not only stay away from the zombie-people, but she must find her son, who appears to be immune to the infection, and therefore may hold the key to a cure.
Carol’s colleague and close friend Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig) is the only person she can trust, and with his help, they attempt to defy the Human.2s. A lot of high-octane action follows, cars blow up, people get killed—or worse, vomited on! Some of the stuff is quite gruesome, especially the scene where a women running for help is hit full-on by a car speeding down a tunnel. But all the gruesome bits did was justify the film’s A rating.
There is a predictable twist towards the end—actually, everything is quite predictable—even though everything sorts out into a fairytale conclusion of sorts. Altogether, the film seemed abrupt and badly edited. There was no character development whatsoever. There was no chemistry between Kidman and Craig. The promotional material said he was her “love interest”, but he was more “best friend”. (And as Daniel Craig was making no attempt to fake an American accent, it might have been interesting to know a bit more about him.)
In fact, considering that we basically wanted to see the movie for Mr Craig, he barely got any chance to show off his acting skills—or anything else, for that matter. On her part, Nicole Kidman—rather, her character—was too “perfect”.
In one word: insipid. Oh, sorry, have I used that word before? It’s very apt!