Dave White
The Invasion Review

Dave's Rating:


It's like an episode of 7th Heaven but with zombies.

Who's in It: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam, Jackson Bond, Jeffrey Wright, Veronica Cartwright

The Basics: I try to stay away from spoilers. But this weak-willed Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake, where they hired an arty German director to handle it, and then they took it away from him to beef up the action — Molotov-cocktail-throwing pod people, flaming-car-chase-proficient stunt-monsters, pistol-packing Kidman, energy-giving-soda product placement and more — has annoyed me to the point of giving away major plot points. So if you're not into that, then stop reading now.

What's the Deal? Based on one of the classic politically pointed paranoid thrillers of the past 50 years, it has — if you can believe it — a happy ending. Seriously. No one runs around yelling, "You're next! You're next!" Donald Sutherland doesn't open his mouth all wide and squeal and point to his next victim. None of that. The main people all get to live happily ever after. The world is healed of the harmful alien virus that caused it all. The dead even come back to life (well, the important dead anyway). It's like an episode of 7th Heaven but with zombies.

But Even Before the Lame, Focus-Group-Tested Ending Comes Along: You get Kidman doing a variety of odd accents, the sad sight of cool character actor Jeffrey Wright reduced to being the Guy Who Explains All the Fake Science, a kid actor who's had the emotion drained out of him already by Hollywood instead of by alien pods, the dowsing of weird, creepy psychological terror in favor of more car chases and crashes and whiplash editing that makes no sense.

What Doesn't Suck: Scenes of the mechanical, emotionless pod people projectile-vomiting infected mucus into pitchers of iced tea or into the faces of victims, Kidman smacking a pod-child around to save her own immune-to-the-virus son, and a truly terrifying moment where a pod-guy comes to Kidman's house and tries to break in. If I could watch that scene over and over, it would have been a good movie.

Still Better Than: Daddy Day Camp. But then the actual end of the world via alien invasion would be better than that.


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