Tuesday, April 2 2013, 02:52 PM MDT
Movie Review: The Host
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Andrew Niccol
Starring • Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel
Rated • PG-13
Recommended to • Fans of the novel and Stephenie Meyer devotees.
An alien race has come to Earth and enslaved mankind by taking control of their bodies by erasing their memories and destroying their will. Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) proves to be a difficult host to be controlled, as her love for her brother and the mysterious Hared (Max Irons) somehow enables her to retain some of her independence from the alien being that has been placed inside of her.
With “The Host” Stephenie Meyer looked to combine the love-triangle formula of “Twilight” with a variation of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” The sci-fi aspects of the story are decent, but the majority of the film’s focus is the same sort of teen fantasy that made “The Twilight Saga” inaccessible to many of us. Melanie’s journey is essentially the same as Bella’s, only the second voice in Melanie’s head isn’t her own. Well, technically it is hers, but that’s only because Wanderer (Wanda to her friends), the alien, gets control of their shared body’s vocal chords. Having two voices inside of one mind works fine in a novel, but in a film it winds up being ridiculous and distracting. It’s sort of like watching a movie with a bad comic who has to comment on everything that happens. Had I been writing/directing the film I would have experimented with taking as much of the inner monologue out and letting Ronan, who has been fantastic in the past, use her talent to convey the conflict inside of her. As it stands “The Host” is better than the first couple “Twilight” films, but it is still strictly for Meyer fans.
-Ryan Michael Painter