‘The Invasion’ movie review: Nicole Kidman in Body Snatchers remake

Perfectly acceptable Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake (the fourth film version, all based on the novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney) for the first two-thirds, until post-production tampering topped with a ridiculous happy ending kick in and sink the whole thing.

Nicole Kidman stars as Carol Bennell, Washington, D.C. psychiatrist and single mother who begins to suspect that the people around her aren´t the people around her.

That is, they´ve been taken over by alien parasites that control their minds and attempt to take over the world (for reasons unknown). Researchers played by Daniel Craig and Jeffrey Wright are soon on the case, quickly inventing a solution to the problem.

Of course, despite the characters in the movie not having a clue for the first half of the film, the audience is all-too-aware that these emotionless drones are no good, whether they´ve been taken over by the parasites or not; how about a Body Snatcher with some pizzazz, a little flair? An alien parasite with personality?

The original 1956 film ended so memorably with Kevin McCarthy´s Dr. Bennell ranting on the streets, unaware of who to trust; a perfect reflection of cold-war era paranoia.

Terrorism paranoia would have made a perfect footnote to this film, and director Hirschbiegel had – I believe – intended to go in this direction; the ending we´re actually given, however, only reflects upon car chases, explosions, and test screening audience pandering. The film couldn´t be more confused about itself.

An uncredited James McTeigue was apparently brought in for massive reshoots, with the Wachowski Bros. script doctoring; if the producers are happy with their version of the film, one wonders why they hired the director of The Downfall in the first place.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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