As a science-fiction fanatic, I was looking forward to the latest remake of the sci-fi classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t worth the price of a ticket.
I’m a huge Nicole Kidman fan and, in fairness to her, she did her best to keep this piece out of movie obscurity. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t possible.
Remakes seldom live up to the original movie, however an earlier remake starring Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams came close. Unfortunately, this one simply entitled “Invasion” couldn’t even live up to that remake.
I think what I most disliked about this film was the change of the original plot line whereby alien spores make their way to earth. These plants, after taking root, grew pods, which spawned the “blank” bodies that could take over humans.
In this version, there are no pods, just an alien virus that attaches itself to humans for the purpose of recombining DNA. While I understand that this version allows for a “cure” where the previous versions did not, it also took away that which made the original film so good.
Kidman stars as a psychiatrist by the name of Binnel who suddenly finds herself treating a patient who insists that her husband is no longer her husband. Dr. Binnel, of course, assumes the problem lies with the woman herself and prescribes pills to deal with her “psychotic” behavior.
However, she experiences a similar feeling when she takes her son to visit his father. She notes that her ex-husband is also not acting quite right. She begins watching the people around her and realizes that something strange is going on.
While checking out her child’s candy from Halloween night, Binnel discovers a strange organism, which she takes in to have analyzed. The results indicate that it is alien in nature. From there it is just a short leap to figure out that the organism is responsible for the change taking place in human beings.
I’m not going to spoil the movie for those of you who may still want to see it. There are certainly a few stellar moments in the film that are worth seeing.
Daniel Craig, of James Bond fame, plays Kidman’s love interest. It’s totally a waste of his talents. He’s basically just there for eye candy.
I have to admit that the method used for filming this movie was quite good. The angle shots, quick flips, back stories, and soft lens work did more to add to the spookiness of this film than the script did.
Kidman is one of those stars that either picks a first-class role or one that is an absolute dud. This one, unfortunately, was the latter. Still, she did what she could with the role. The real problem in this movie lay with the script and the direction, not with the actors.
Science fiction classics are classic because their stories stand up over time. Attempts to fix something that was never broken in the first place are not only stupid, but down right egotistical. I just don’t see a screenplay writer ever improving upon a master.
Craig also did what he could with a rather boring, one-dimensional role. Veronica Cartwright, who played in the original remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” also played in this one as a patient of Dr. Binnel. I thought that was a nice nod to the fans of that film as well as to the actress herself. Cartwright nearly stole this film in a few brief moments on screen. I admit that I sometimes forget just how good an actress she is.
The director, Oliver Hirschbiegel, obviously didn’t have a handle on the screenplay or the actors, making the movie a hodge podge of scenes without much cohesiveness. I also don’t believe he was able to get the best performances out of his actors. Both Kidman and Craig have the acting chops to pull off just about anything, but in this film, they just seem to be cruising.
I really wanted to love this film, but I would have stood for liking it. Unfortunately, the truth is I just couldn’t find anything about it that I did like. Sorry guys, but this one only get two and one-half stars out of five.