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Review: The Host

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 2:55 am by Justin Cavender

The Host

The Host is a sci-fi romance involving an alien invasion, free groceries, chrome vehicles, and of course the Meyer love triangle. The film was written and directed by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca), and adapted from Stephenie Meyer’s 600 page novel with the same name. In the story, Earth has been invaded by an alien race known as Souls, which take over human bodies and erase the memory of the occupied host. The human race is nearly extinct with only a few members left of what can best be described as the Resistance.

Diane Kruger The HostSaoirse Ronan (Hanna, The Lovely Bones) plays Melanie, who is captured by the Souls in the early goings of the film. Moments later, a Soul named Wanderer (later named Wanda), is implanted into her body and the adventure begins. This is right about the part where I nearly checked out. Melanie is fighting with Wanderer in her mind and this leads to some silly and almost unbearable voice over. Mel/Wanda continue to have conversations with each other throughout the remainder of the film. There are some dream sequences thrown in the mix to give the audience an idea of where Melanie comes from, but they’re not very compelling.

The antagonist is known as the Seeker, played by Diane Kruger (National Treasure), who becomes obsessed with finding all remaining humans and will stop at nothing to eradicate them from existence. Kruger’s performance was actually pretty decent. In fact, it was nice to get a break from the teen passion and romance that steams up in scenes that don’t involve the Seeker. Once Wanda agrees to help Mel escape and return to her little brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury), and boyfriend Jared (Max Irons), the chase begins.

There are a few action sequences involving high speed pursuits with chrome cars, motorcycles, and helicopters. Clearly chrome is the way of the future. Oh, I should also mention the Souls like to sport all white clothing with tan boots to go with their chrome vehicles. It looks pretty silly, and I had a real hard time taking the movie seriously.

Saoirse Ronan and Max Irons The HostEventually Mel/Wanda makes it to her Uncle Jeb’s hideout located inside an enormous cave in the mountains. Uncle Jeb (William Hurt) is probably the most interesting character in the film. He quickly believes his niece is still alive and her mind is trapped in her own body. There are other human survivors staying at Uncle Jeb’s, including her brother Jamie and boyfriend Jared. They too want to believe Mel is still in there somewhere, but Wanda quickly develops feelings for a different boy named Ian, played by Jake Abel. So now you have one girl with two minds liking two different boys. Throw in some kissing and teen hormones and you have Twilight 2.0, with chrome.

Yeah, I know this review is kind of abrupt, but I got just as bored writing about this movie as I did watching it. The story is definitely weighed down with a heavy love theme and what it means to be human. Can humans and the Souls find a way to co-exist? You’ll have to sit through two hours of, “Oh I want to kiss you but I can’t,” to find out. This film is not for everyone, and I’d say if you aren’t between the ages of 12-16, you might want to sit this one out.

REVIEW SCORE: C-

You can follow Justin at @Edgyarmo on Twitter.

    • Jennifer

      12-16 and Stephanie Meyer, I wonder why I've never heard of this! 😉

    • Edgar

      Looked a little too vanilla for my taste. Nice write up.

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