Write a book and sell that book. Once it sells millions of copies, write three more books and say it was meant to be a series. Get a movie deal and make millions of dollars. Then write another book about absolutely anything and you are guaranteed a movie deal. I give you, ‘The Host.’
Plot: Aliens have invaded planet Earth in the form of parasitic glowworms called “Souls”. They attach themselves to a host human body and take control of their minds. However, one rebellious human, Melanie (Saoirse Ronan), fights to stay alive after the Soul enters her body. What follows is a story of how the two begin to develop a relationship while sharing Melanie’s body. Meanwhile, the remaining humans are struggling to stay hidden and not become hosts themselves.
Analysis: Within five minutes of this movie, you know it is bad. Its hard for me to say that being a filmmaker, because I understand the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that go into this process, just for some talking head (like myself) to say it sucked. But, if I explain why it sucked then I don’t feel so bad.
Whenever there is problem, go to the source. The source here is the book. I did not read the book, but I imagine that’s where the “straight to VHS” dialogue originates. Now, lets focus on the writing trends of Stephenie Meyer (she wrote the book, not the screenplay). Love Triangles. This woman knows more about love triangles than a high school geometry teacher. Seriously, if I was her husband and my wife wrote 5 books about one chick and two dudes, I would start two wonder if there was another “Team” she was playing for (By “Team” I mean guy).
But, I can’t say the poor writing surprised me because I have seen all of the ‘Twilight’ movies. Actually, the dialogue wasn’t even the worst part. The worst part was the voice-over that just doesn’t work. Too bad it is used throughout the entirety of the film. It just doesn’t work. Period. The voice-over takes you so far out of the film there is no going back.
Another red flag for a bad movie is when you laugh out loud at something that is supposed to be dramatic. That happened twice here; Both times when we first see the humans greet Melanie and her new travel buddy. Its not supposed to be funny, but it is.
I feel a little bad for the writer/director, Andrew Niccol. I’m my opinion he is a talented dude. He wrote ‘The Truman Show’. He also wrote and directed ‘In Time.’
So, Sci-Fi is kind of his thing. But, in this situation I truly believe he was doomed from the start.
So, lets break down both the good and bad of the movie:
The Bad: The voice–over. Dialogue. Most of the movie. Most of the acting. The +2 hour run time.
The Good: Some of the shots looked pretty. Even in a bad movie William Hurt is still a four-time Oscar nominee, one-time winner. He is lovely. Also, Jake Abel played the part of Ian very well. I was impressed.
Verdict: One point awarded for William Hurt. One point awarded because I am a sucker for the romance. Zero points awarded for anything else. If I had to grade this on concept, it might be a 10. However, I have to grade it on execution.