Genres: Drama, Horror,
Runtime: 93 minutes
Studio: Oliver Pictures
Review done by: Serial McKiller
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam, Malin Akerman, Mike
D. Anderson, James E. Ash, Eric Benjamin.
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Synopsis: Based on Jack Finney's novel The Body Snatchers, The Invasion
tells the story of a mysterious epidemic that alters the behavior of human
beings. When a Washington D.C. Psychiatrist discovers the epidemic’s origins
are extraterrestrial, she must fight to protect her son, who may hold the key
to stopping an imminent invasion.
One 100 proof thing can be said of "The Invasion" and that is it's certainly
Warner Brother's best produced horror film in quite a few years. Not that the
mark was high what with "Thirteen Ghosts", "Ghost Ship", "House of Wax"
and more recently "The Reaping". Here we have a slightly more crisp thriller.
That said it's got it's issues. Nicole Kidman stars as Carol, a shrink who's ex-
husband works for the CDC. A few days ago the space shuttle exploded
upon re-entry and the debris was spread across several states. When it
came in it had a bizarre organism on it which would late turn out to be the
virus. Daniel Craig plays Dr. Ben, a friend of Carol's whom after an incident
on Halloween takes this strange drippy film that she gets off of one of the
children to him to analyze. Jeffery Wright plays one of Craig's partners on the
project. After a while the outbreak becomes more rapid.
The "zombies" (cause that's what they are, all be it not the flesh eating ones)
are everywhere and have taken most of Washington D.C. Meanwhile Carol
searches for her son after he goes missing after the visit with his father,
which is the basic meat of the story. I think at the end of the day I feel about
this like I felt about "Live Free or Die Hard". There's a lot of original ideas here
and clever minds at work here, but it suffers from that all the same. Here the
case in point is the running time. It's 99 minutes which is...well in some forms
too short and in other too long. But I think for suspense purposes far too
short. The first half of the movie speeds by with break-neck cutting which is
distracting as hell and worst of all cuts down on the creepiness which the
trailer and the plot seem to deliver. However a problem like this doesn't shock
me too much here and that's because of the film's producer Joel Silver. For
me Silver stopped being a real good name after the early 90's.
After that all that made me turn and look to him was "The Matrix" films, "V
for Vendetta" and "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang". Silver has a nack for just not
getting projects. One reason why the graphic novel "Watchmen" was never
made under his production. He doesn't seem to get subtle or slight. Hence
why he brought in "V for Vendetta" director James McTeigue to patch up the
third act. Which I'm not really complaining about, although there are things in
there I really didn't like. For example how the shy Jeffery Wright took almost
complete control of the whole thing from the chopper above the city. Still he
did make it very exciting. The official director though was German filmmaker
Oliver Hirschbiegel. Hirschbiegel honestly looks like he set out and probably
made a sly, creepy Sci-fi thriller with more brains than brawn, but then Silver
busted down the door with an Uzi and a flamethrower singing "The A-Team"
theme song. However all Silver suffrage aside a lot of the acting is strong.
I think Craig's work over shadows Kidman's at times. He's very good at
cutting to the point as quickly as possible. Kidman on the other hand deals
with things by running and talking in a light voice. That said she was very
good for that part. The few office scenes she has I was actually thinking
she'd make for a nice doctor. And in the third act (you know, the
adventurous one) you see a real turn around in her character that was
definitly needed. The film ends not like "War of the Worlds" or anything.
Nothing nearly as dramatic, but more realistic of things now with modern
medicine and such. "The Invasion" is... good. It's worth a watch, but it's
something I'd love to see a director's cut of. To see what was the REAL
version by Hirschbiegel. To see if it's better than just good. Since it's a
common thing now I'd expect so, unless of course Mr. Silver prevents that. I
really wish I didn't have to keep coming to that, but in the end I know that's
what it is.
Because there's tons of clever effects both CGI and make-up done on the
"pod-people" that's terrific. The puking attacks and reactions are sly and
unnerving. But for everyone of those, there is a sped up, hopped up
sequence that seems very out of place. What it boils down to is Joel Silver's
basic Hollywood ideals. Stuff that even Jerry Bruckheimer doesn't listen to.
Silver pretty much believes in the hip and now. He wants a Michael Bay styled
horror film, without Bay or a horror film. He wants scary-action. And the
thing is he can't have it! He's yet to get it and more than likely he's not going
to find it by turning stories of suspense and the odd into action set-piece
riddled clitche's. But all I can say is that at least with this one I can say all
those things, but the damage is far, far less.