It is odd how NASA is always trying to get us to travel to other planets even though Hollywood makes it perfectly clear that anything coming from space is just plain bad for you. Astronauts are always dragging back some mutating funk that totally whacks out those of us lucky enough to be earth born. Still we keep sending people out there in hopes that we will find other forms of life.
In the new film The Invasion we find out how nasty those other forms can be. It is a retelling of the classic sci-fi thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers but with some pretty decent action and suspense.
The story starts quick and gets right to the meat of the plot. It doesn’t take a lot of time setting up the characters and developing subject lines.
Basically a space shuttle returns. It brings a funk that once in you creates a non-emoting zombie of a creature. Creatures that will stop at nothing until all of earth are either dead or invaded. This transformation takes place in your body the first time you go to sleep. So the trick is to stay awake while avoiding the sleepwalking weirdoes. When Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman) learns her son may hold an answer to the cure, she battles her way to a remote government lab.
Along with Nicole Kidman it stars Daniel Craig. Both do a nice job of pulling off what could be a predictable, silly story. These types of films always teeter on the brink of stupidity and can come across idiotic. The Invasion adds enough suspense and action to raise it above the bar of normal Living Dead flicks. The director moves the story and keeps it simple. Sure there are plot holes and often the mutated humans have to contradict their own nature when convenient for the story. But luckily this flick does it with subtlety. In the end you find yourself liking a film that in theory should be terrible.
The Invasion is Rated PG-13 for Violence, Disturbing Images and Terror. The overall theme and images of the mutants are certainly too intense for young children. The language is fairly mild and overall the film is shot in a way that you know what happens without having to view it or hear it in graphic detail. There is only a 2 second gratuitous moment of a woman in her undies so adolescent males will be highly disappointed. In all honesty I think they created a decent, classic-styled thriller that went the direction of suspense instead of sci-fi horror. I give The Invasion 3 out of 5 packs of no-doze. Not a record breaker but not a bad time at the theater either. Just know before you go.
The Mungle ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and co-hosts a weekly radio feature, The Mungles on Movies, with his wife Cindy. For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website http://www.mungleshow.com/