The Invasion Movie Review
If you love Nicole Kidman you are going to love this movie. This sci-fi thriller may have bombed in the United States (it was released there on the 17th) and got lukewarm reviews…but the film is not all that bad. And it was kind of fun seeing it on the very first day of its release in India. By the way, its an adult movie over here, and that must be because of the scary scenes.
To enjoy this movie, it’s important to remember that it’s a third re-make of Jack Finney’s sci-fi novel Invasion of the Body Snatchers. So, nothing really new. It is believed to be far less scary than the orginal 1956 version.
The movie starts off with a lot of special effects – a space shuttle landing with an explosive bang on the earth and with it some aliens – in virus form! And yes you guessed it. They are the body-snatchers. No specific reason is given and one assumes that the virus simply wants to procreate and multiply.
Nicole Kidman, who plays the role of Carol Bennell, a psychiatrist, gets wise to the aliens pretty quickly (maybe she can read minds as well as cure them!) And well, this movie is all Kidman’s and that is probably the reason why she accepted it. It’s a heroine oriented movie, where a woman with a child fights an impossible battle to save herself and her child from getting infected by the alien virus. This virus transforms the personality of the host to such an extent that he or she turns into a zombie.
Carol/Nicole has a divorced husband called Tucker (played by Jeremy Northam) and he is shown getting infected right at the start of the movie (but we don’t know how he is connected to Kidman at the time). Once we know that, the suspense begins. Will she get infected? Will she able to protect her son? Will she and her son die?
A seemingly disjointed shot right at the start of the movie is one where Carol is shown barging into a pharmacy, desperately looking for a medicine to keep her awake. This is supposed to hook the viewer…keep him wondering why this woman wants to stop herself from falling asleep. Even later a lot of the suspense is woven around this…will she fall asleep or not…and if she does, what will happen?? So much so that she has to tell her son, who is but a child, to give her a hard jab in the heart in case she does fall asleep. Pretty nasty. And so are some of the infection-in-progress scenes. If you don’t mind the gooey stuff – fine.
The writers tried to give some ‘deep’ meaning to the movie by bringing in a Russian diplomat (played by Roger Rees) into the scene. He meets Carol at a party and pontificates on how bad violence is and how entrenched it is in human beings…but our brilliant psychiatrist gives him a fitting reply! That human beings are after all human beings and are preferable to zombies! This was supposed to give some sort of philosophical twist to the story by saying that emotion (and the violence that goes with it) is what humanity is all about and that is what the newly formed zombies/aliens lack. This scene did not ring true somehow.
Danial Craig is around, playing Ben, Nicole’s best friend, although there is just a little hint of a romance. He looks like a hunk…but his acting is average. Not that he has much of a chance to show his acting skills…it’s Kidman’s movie through and through. She not only looks ethereally beautiful, but enacts every scene with the right mix of drama and panache. One can understand why this actor won an Oscar. However, one cannot help feeling that she was wasted in this movie.
The action scenes (believed to have been inserted later) are the kind one has seen a hundred times before. The car chase was terribly passé.
The end was disappointing. I was expecting something new, something different…sure there were attempts to give a ‘scientific’ kind of end to the movie but the science was in passing. All that stuff about the ‘vaccine’ was very superficially handled. Guess this movie wasn’t really science fiction in the true sense. It was a thriller.
It had a happy ending ofcourse…
Thrillers are great and I love to watch them in theaters, but I think this is one movie which is okay to watch at home. No, it wasn’t boring. It was quite enjoyable in fact, specially the first half. But without Kidman and Craig…well…its nothing.