Friday, October 10, 2008

THE INVASION (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2007, USA) The tag line reads: Do not trust anyone. Do not show emotion. Do not fall asleep. I will add: Do not queue this garbage. An alien virus descends upon earth via the space shuttle disaster and the human race transforms into Ben Stein-like hominids…boring, monotone, bad actors, and of lower intelligence than Sahelanthropus tchadensis. A modern version of Jack Finney’s Cold War parable THE BODY SNATCHERS, this retelling is an awful mess and quickly degenerates into a sloppy Hollywood action flick. Instead of the creeping suspense and carefully defined relationships of the original, we get Nicole Kidman in tight shirts speaking obtuse dialogue and looking perplexed. The germ of the story is interesting but the film suffers from an unoriginal screenplay and uninspired directing. We are left to believe that in a matter of a few moments exposition, a lab technician identifies the alien bacterium and its destructive effects... then discovers a cure. I suppose he could cure cancer in the next 20 seconds and the common cold a minute later. The movie definitely suffers from heavy editing but the story flaws go way beyond that problem…it’s just a badly executed film! We are never close to any character because they are cardboard, fake caricatures just going through the motions. Information is just handed out to the characters in Deus Ex Machine plot devices that immediately make the viewer groan. This is a terrible movie and should be skipped. Please queue Don Siegel’s original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. (F-)

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