The Host


Director: Andrew Niccol

Screenplay: Andrew Niccol

Based on: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Jake Abel, Max Irons, Chandler Canterbury, Frances Fisher, Diane Kruger & William Hurt

The host revolves around Melanie Stryder, whose body has been taken over the an alien species called “Souls”.   Although her body is taken, she refuses to fade away, becoming a voice in her own head and that of Wanderer, the Host within her body. The earth has been invaded by the “Souls” who take over the minds and live to travel the cosmos to experience the world of the conquered species to perfect it, bringing peace.   What Wanderer, didn’t expect to not only cohabitate with Melanie, and the resulting blacklash leads her to more humans and a life she hadn’t expected.

Now, after the fiasco that was Twilight both movies and went into this movie with incredibly low expectations.  The only reason I wanted to see it was because Saoirse Ronan has never disappointed me and neither did she here.  Sometimes I joked to myself thinking “Come on, you can’t act better than that”, but I got over it because at least she could act.   A stronger point for me was, I was willing to give Stephenie Meyer a chance since the novel itself was not in the Young Adult section and did not mess with another mythology outside the realm of mythology.  Here you have aliens that have invaded.  There, boom, it’s a clear cut story line that has been done before, which I could respect.  It reminded me of pod-people easily, but it didn’t come off as a copy-cat movie because of the way the aliens themselves function and how they are supposed to act within the bodies.  Seeker (Diane Kruger) is the antagonist in the movie because she is letting her body and the body within it take control of her, making her angry with the free humans.  Although she does not know it at the time, it is clearly her body and the humans’ mind that is affecting her feelings.  Her hatred stems from wanting all of them to be like her, trapped.  It’s a basic enough story line with good characters that do not come off as weak but rather a little complex, which is more than I can say for Twilight.

Wanderer/Melanie is by far not a weak character.  She does not give up trying to live just because the world is harsh to her.  No, she tries to help, wants to remain alive and fight for the humans, even falling in love with one, Ian (Jake Abel), while Melanie remains in love with Jared (Max Irons).  Of course, this presents the viewer with an awkward love square rather than a triangle because one loves one and one loves the other, except in the case of Melanie/Wanderer, two are one making everything complicated.

The weakest point in this movie was the climactic moment when Seeker finds them.  She has just killed someone and then points a gun at them.  The only thing that saves them is the fact that Jeb (William Hurt) shoots her.   Now that was just lame.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved Jeb; his character was just done so well being both strong and reasonable and thoughtful.  He looks past the eyes to see the souls behind them.  Jeb and Ian were my two favorite characters and in this movie, I was glad that there was a happy ending.  Nothing was all wishy-washy, the world is still conquered but, Wanderer and Ian get to live happily ever after (which you want by the end of the movie) and Melanie and Jared get to live happily ever after (something else you want by the end).

By the end, I was pleasantly surprised with how this movie was done.  The casting was great and the movie was adorable, funny and even had intense.  Sometimes, it was even dark, but that is what made it good.  It had the elements that Twilight was lacking.  ★★★☆ (B)

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