Listen to this review:
Welcome to Mind Control Month, Week 1: Aliens, Day 2. Now that we’re past Monday, we can really get into the whole body snatchers thing. I will be watching three films covering the entire body snatchers idea. The only one I won’t be watching and reviewing is the original, black and white version. According to critic websites, the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers and it’s remake in ’78 were both relatively rated the same, so I opted for the color version with the actors that I’m familiar with, but that’s for tomorrow. Today, I watched the most recent variation of the story, and also my favorite, The Invasion – and I’ll get into why it’s my favorite a little later. First, we’ll talk about the plot.
“While returning to Earth, a space shuttle explodes and the fragments bring an alien virus that recodes the human DNA. In Washington, the psychiatrist Carol Bennell observes the modification of the behavior of one of her clients first, then in her former husband and finally in the population in general. Together with her friend Dr. Ben Driscoll the researcher Dr. Stephen Galeano, they discover that the extraterrestrial epidemic affects human beings while sleeping and that her son Ollie, who had chickenpox when he was a baby, is immune to the disease and may save mankind from the outbreak.” – IMDb
I’ll get into this as the week progresses, but I’m writing this review after watching all three of the aforementioned films, and I can easily say this is my favorite, why? Well, as classic as the older films are, it always seemed a little inconvenient to take that extra step and copy/download the body and make a clone of them before the original dies away. That didn’t make a lot of sense to me, because I originally saw this film, where the alien simply takes over the body of the original host…which seemed simple and logical, not to mention quick. They still had to sleep for the effect to ultimately take place.
Another thing I noticed with this film versus the older films is that they take extra care to focus on the world and the differences seen in people. There are often shots of long city roads with alien people just standing there looking ominous and impossibly, infinitely numbered. I never really felt like that with the originals – so I think in general, the basic idea they wanted to construe was seen best in The Invasion. So sue me, but people’s insistence on sticking with classics just because they are classic is not founded in a ton of logic. Out of all of the films, this is the most exciting, thrilling, and logical. Let’s get into it and break it down to interpret the stars.
PEOPLE SCORE – 6/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 1|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1
So many movies these days have acting that just doesn’t impress. I’m fully aware that these are great actors that have the abilities to really show range, but in this specific film, the range mostly stays exactly where it is throughout, so I have to only give half points for that. The characters, when you really think about them, aren’t totally memorable. They all serve a pretty important purpose which adds to the plot, but you really don’t remember the film for the characters themselves. If anything, you remember the film for the actors because it’s Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. That being said, could anyone play these roles? I’m relatively sure they could, especially because there wasn’t a lot about the characters specifically that were memorable enough. As for the chemistry, I don’t think that was ever a huge concern of the film. It was fine in parts, but it’s not super important.
WRITING SCORE – 8/10
Dialogue – 1|Balance – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2
Next, we’ll take a look at the writing score, which did okay. Not perfect, not terrible, just okay. This wasn’t a very dialogue-heavy film. None of them really are, but there’s just nothing to take away from the dialogue here. I do consider it pretty balanced overall, as it just follows around Kidman’s character as she unravels whats happening and what to do at that point. The story isn’t as deep and meaningful as it tries to be. It has something to do with living in a world without fear, violence, or poverty, but I think this version of the film just focused most on thrills. I do consider it pretty original. I did when I first saw it and still do, after seeing the original films. It’s also a very interesting idea and you really do want to see how they deal with the problem in this film.
BTS SCORE – 7/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
Alright, so behind-the-scenes wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. This is a newer film that could’ve really benefitted off of visuals, but it almost seems as though the originals had a better grasp, visually speaking than this film. The directing never really seemed like a major challenge, but I can appreciate the editing. The editing had some really, really good parts here and there that took advantage of hallucinations and flashbacks in a neat way. I consider this as-advertised, but the music never really stands out as something I’d like to hear again.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 5/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Sucks you in – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0
Alright, so how entertaining is it in general? I would say it’s decent enough, but it doesn’t blow my mind. I don’t have any problem rewatching it and I really do think you’ll have a great time just watching the movie for fun. It’ll even suck you in here and there, but I doubt you’ll have any real impulse or urge to buy it or even own it, nor do I think you’ll have any strong urge to tell others about it. It’s just not that type of film.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 45/50
Alien Mind Control – 10|Sci-Fi – 10|Thriller – 10|Horror – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
As for the five specialty questions that I wrote before seeing the film, this is another perfect example for Aliens week in combination with Mind Control Month. Aliens are definitely taking over and forcing people to do things they don’t want to do, effectively making this mind control (the other movies aren’t). This is also a sci-fi film, and as such, there’s a lot of focus on science and technology and how this parasitic organism works, so that was cool. As for being a thriller, it never has an issue there as the film definitely is a huge thrill. Horror? Not so much. I’d say the older films did a great job with that aspect, but this is more thrills than anything else. Finally, is it halfway decent? Definitely, this is my favorite body snatchers film out of the ones I watched this week!