I love sci-fi movies. I like alien movies, war movies, post-apocalyptic movies. I don’t often like movie re-makes; many of them seem to flop. So, I was curious about The Invasion, but I wasn’t sold. At least not before seeing it today at Eton Square Cinema. But this was a genuine movie experience, a very intense one at that.
I haven’t seen the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, so I can’t compare these movies or talk about how this one did or didn’t surpass the original. But I can tell you what this movie itself was like. I’d say it was very good… if you want to be creeped out or you’re looking for a thrill.
The Invasion isn’t a standard sci-fi movie: one where an idea is presented and explored mainly for the sake of the idea. Don’t get me wrong – there were some philosophical meanderings brought up several times in the movie and in my opinion, some very intriguing ideas. But they weren’t the highlight. No; the science fiction in this movie was merely the premise that fueled an intense edge-of-your-seat adventure which kept you constantly guessing what the outcome would be. The philosophy actually kept you second-guessing what you thought the outcome should be.
This makes for a very good movie experience. The Invasion submerges you in a world of alien possession and human drama. It slowly picks up speed and is soon roaring along at such a heart-pounding pace that you’re just not sure what’s going to happen. It’s not just from action though. A few big-budget action scenes occasionally help further the suspense, but for a long time it’s the general sense of dread, suspicion, and the unknown that will have you biting your nails and hoping for a quick resolution.
The thing with the body snatchers, here simply the alien invaders, is that you’re never quite sure who’s who. We don’t even know their full intentions. But they spread fast and they don’t easily overlook anyone. To this effect, the acting is superb. The plot doesn’t allow for any big acting moments that will give someone the chance for an Oscar or something. But all the actors seem to display just enough appropriate subtlety that it takes a while to determine who’s side they’re on. Not only does this make you feel for the main character (portrayed by Nicole Kidman), but it constantly submerges you deeper into The Invasion‘s movie experience.
This is what I think a good movie should do – draw you in and keep you there until the credits roll. A great movie will have you talking about it afterwards. Depending on your desire to discuss the movie’s up-front philosophical questions, The Invasion falls somewhere in the middle. It was well-made, the actors played their parts, the camera-work was good, it didn’t fall for tired zombie-clichés (like it easily could have), and it was simply intense.
If these are the things you like about movies, you’ll certainly enjoy The Invasion. But it’s not for the faint-of-heart. It’s a movie thrill-ride. I give The Invasion a thumb’s up.