Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Max Irons, Jake Able, William Hurt
Directed by Andrew Niccol
Run Time: 125 mins
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi/ Romance
Opens March 29th
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
From the author that brought the world of Tweens, their mothers and swooning girls all over the plant, Stephenie Meyer’s other book sans all things Twilight opens this week in theaters. “The Host” is a departure from the world of vampires, shape shifter werewolves & all things monster related, but delves into what can be considered a “New Age” Sci-fi Adventure with a love triangle.
The new Earth is now at peace with itself. The environment has healed, everyone gets along and all have the same resemblance in their eyes, glowing a silvery blue. Humans are now bodily hosts to an alien life form that wants everyone to live in harmony and take care of the environment. This is all in alien theory. There are pockets of human resistance groups still among the new race but finding them has been tasked to the police force of the aliens called the “seekers”.
One young woman managed to escape with her brother when the seekers came after her family. Melanie Striker (Saoirse Ronan) provided and protected her brother for a few years before finding another human, Jared Howe (Max Irons) to join their family. So while, trying to make their way to their Uncle Jeb’s (William Hurt) house, Melanie was captured and implanted with a new soul. This new soul called itself Wanderer (a.k.a. Wanda later in the story) tasked with invading Melanie’s memories to find the pockets of human resistors in hiding. Melanie’s essence is trapped inside of her along with Wanda, so she is doing everything in her power to protect those whom she loves before The Seeker (Diane Kruger) can extract the information.
Compared to the book, this is a rare instance where the film is actually better than the book. Stephanie Meyer’s phenomenon with Twilight, for a writer, is a tough act to follow. For those not familiar with the story, the novel version of “the Host” takes a while to get going where you actually care about the characters; since it is so different; there is a lot of internal dialogue, which as a reader, is questionable how it would translate to film. It can be compared to if “The Walking Dead” had aliens instead of zombies, mixed in with some New Age/ Zen like philosophies, everyone drive a chrome Lotus and whose target market was teenage girls and romance book fans. What actually works in this film is that is the lead actress is perfectly cast (a.k.a. not Kristen Stewart), the leads actors have a strong supporting cast surrounding them and the special effects for the “souls” look fantastic. There’s not another book in recent memory that has paid as much attention to detail and improved upon the book when translated to the screen. The details were sleek and sexy from the wardrobe, the cars, motorcycles, stores living arrangements; everything flowed Zen-like. It’s amazing what a larger budget and some decent actors can do to a mediocre story to jazz it up. Be sure to check out “The Host” when it opens in theaters starting Friday March 29, 2013.