The Invasion **
Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel
Written by Dave Kajganich, based on the novel "The Body Snatchers" by Jack Finney
Nicole Kidman as Carol Bennell
Daniel Craig as Ben Driscoll
Jeremy Northam as Tucker Kaufman
Jackson Bond as Oliver
Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Stephen Galeano
Veronica Cartwright as Wendy Lenk
Josef Sommer as Dr. Henryk Belicec
Celia Weston as Ludmilla Belicec
93 Minutes(Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and terror. )
"The Invasion" is one of the best examples of what a two star movie delivers. It is quick, clean, not awful, not very good, and when its all over and done with you walk out of the theatre and basically forget everything you just saw. It's too quick, it's too clean, have a few interesting visual images, some decent acting, and almost no violence and no scenes of action. It's a quiet and bleak thriller with a very pat ending, and its typical August fair. Now if those are things you are looking for in a movie this time of year, than by all means see "The Invasion,"-I won't talk to out of it. Suffice to say that you could spend you're eleven dollars on much better fare. This is yet another remake of the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," this time with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig at the lead-and they'll be together once again at the end of the year for "The Golden Compass," which leads me to believe that we'll be hearing about them being romantically connected in the coming months. It's just a theory.
Kidman plays Carol Bennell, a psychiatrist living with her young son Oliver. The two of them have a great relationship, despite the fact that Kidman delivered her lines to the young boy as if he were a tree or a lamp post. Then out of the blue one day her husband Tucker calls and asks to see the boy. She is hesitant-its been four years since he bothered contacting them last. But she brings him to his fathers house, and then goes out on a date with her best friend Ben, a doctor or a scientist-the film never made it clear which. When she returns home she is disturbed by a creepy visitor who demanded to be let in, and after batting him off she tries to call her husband to see how her son is. There is no answer. The next day several odd things begin to happen, and it all boils down to a space shuttle which fell recently in a field. People are still alive but they are remnants of their old selves-walking and talking like the people they are, but in a droll and emotionless voice. And they walk straight and always forward. And when they attack, all the person needs to do is fall asleep and when they wake up. . . . they will be one of them! And of course, Carol gets sprayed with the infection, and she fights to stay awake as she tries to look for her son and find a way out.
"The Invasion" is forgettable, but it is nowhere close to being garbage. Kidman is alright when she's not in the mother role. She does a good job of walking around quickly and spurting out scientific and medical knowledge. The love plot between her and Daniel Craig is a huge contrivance, and should not have even been included. The two have basically no chemistry, and Craig doesn't even look like he wants to be there-although sometimes I have the feeling that he doesn't want to be in any movie. I liked how it was quick and short-just over ninety minutes, so that it never gets to the point where you are wondering how much longer it could go on. And there is no excessive violence or language, and it may be the cleanest PG-13 I've seen, despite a few gunshots. The cinematography gives the film a greenish/bluish hue, and I will admit that the bleak and dark tones made it pretty to actually watch.
And the flaws: that there are several. Like I said before, this film is forgettable completely. I hardly remember it and its only been a few hours after I've seen it. It leaves no impression, and while it isn't the worst film of the summer its the one that come ten years from now, you will have no recollection of it at all. And the ending tied up every loose end you could possibly think of, and makes the constantly debated happy ending of Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" downright depressing. And thankfully the film doesn't end with any type of cliffhanger, or indication that they would want to make an "Invasion 2" if this one was successful (which it wasn't.) Instead the film has a rather interesting final shot, summing up the political agenda that the film has throughout. I will discuss that as I close.
Throughout the film I noticed little bits that relate to America and government. Kidman seems to walk right throw all of the problems that America faces. At the start of the film she turns off a radio which is talking about how eighty-ought people were killed that day in Iraq. As she walks down the street, she ignores a homeless man asking for change as if she didn't even see him. And at one point, when the invasion of the body snatchers is at its peak, a news program talks about how America left Iraq. And there is the theory brought out by a scientist in the middle about how there could be a country without war or without any bad news in the newspaper, but that would be a land not populated by humans. And it wasn't until the very end until I realized that this political agenda gave "The Invasion" the substance it needed. I wasn't into the politics as I was watching it-and I found the Iraq connections to be making the film think it were more important than it was-but by the end I was glad it was included. It gave the movie a moral and a little bit of a foundation. You'll see worse than "The Invasion," but it is nothing special and nothing important to remember after all is said and done.