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The Host (2013) Reviewed By Jay

United States, 08 March 2013


Jay´s Review

"An unseen enemy who can erase your memory." I HATE it when that happens! Also known as "La huésped," this story is based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer ("Twilight"), so this PG-13 film should be a crowd-pleaser. My problem was the 3-M dialogue: Mutter; Mumble; and Murmur (I missed 50% of the dialogue). The screenplay by Andrew Niccol ("In Time") who also directed, confused me: I didn't know if it was intentionally humorous or just plain laughable. I WILL say the screening audience laughed many, many times.

We start with a young woman so desperate to save her little brother from the "peaceful" alien invaders that she jumps out a window but is restored to life by those same despicable aliens. From then on, she has the trademark icy blue eyes that tells us that she too, has become one of "them." Problem is, the survivalist human she replaced has this pesky voice inside her head that continues to express itself, thus the humor.

I appreciate that the young men involved with the survivalist community are all twentyish hunks, each with one good reason or another to be attracted to our heroine.

Here we have:

  • * Saoirse Ronan ("Atonement") as Melanie/Wanda, both with distinct personalities vying for dominance. As Melanie she was in love with Jared, but that doesn't stop Wanda from falling for Ian. Got that straight?
  • * Max Irons ("Red Riding Hood") yeah.... Okay, so Jared is another survivalist. He lived with our heroine and her younger brother in a derelict mobile home before the aliens started imposing their peaceful ways on the planet.
  • * Jake Abel ("I Am Number Four") falls for the alien Wanda, with Melanie shouting her opposition in Wanda's head!
  • * Chandler Canterbury ("Repo Men") is indispensable as little brother Jamie, who is the first to sort out where the spirit of his missing sister might be lurking.
  • * Diane Kruger ("Inglorious Basterds") The Seeker is relentless. She is determined to bring in that girl even if she has to resort to violence.
  • * William Hurt ("Robin Hood" 2010) as Jeb, is the paterfamilias of a group of survivalist wheat farmers (the field is hidden inside a mountain...trust me). He keeps the peace in his little domain with a shotgun.
  • * Marcus Lyle Brown (Lots of TV) His Healer Fords is the medical man who lives with the survivalists and tries to help our heroine.
  • * Frances Fisher ("Jolene") Her Maggie takes an immediate dislike for the alien.

At least the aliens are easy to spot. Their various modes of transportation (a Ford Lotus, numerous motorcycles and a few helicopters) are always silver. Expect some gunfire, very little vehicular mayhem, no sweaty bodies, no profanity and no blowie uppie stuff. In fact, this film passes the Bechdel Test because the female characters talk about the issues at hand, not a man.

The message is: "Love conquers all," so despite everything, I'd be looking for a happy ending, AND a theater with closed captions! (Or wait for the DVD.)

cj lennon-thaxton

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