Invasion

Plot: When a space shuttle crashes, something from outer space comes with it. Psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman) and her friend Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig) learn that when you sleep, this extraterrestrial epidemic attacks, leaving people physically unchanged but strangely unfeeling and inhuman. They need to find an antidote before the human race, as we know it, is destroyed.

Who’s it for: This is the second remake of “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Nicole Kidman is in almost every scene, so if you don’t care for her, stay away. Plus, there isn’t as much thrilling scares as I was hoping for.

Expectations: The 1978 remake starting Donald Sutherland is a fantastic film for its time. Plus, it was the first film I remember watching as a child (on cable) that had an unhappy ending. Totally freaked me out. Before that, everything was “happily ever after.” So, if “Invasion” could tap into anything like that, I’d be happy.

SCORECARD

Actors:

Nicole Kidman as Carol: Carol must find her son, who could be the key to all of this, but really it seems like Carol just spends the vast majority of the film walking around looking very nervous. Plus, it’s odd that the film has Kidman in the lead role to express human emotion. She comes off as inhuman as the aliens at times.
Grade: 4

Daniel Craig as Ben: It is such a subtle, small performance, that it really doesn’t need someone of Daniel Craig’s caliber.
Grade: 5

Jeffrey Wright as Stephen: If you are going to cast Wright in your film, give him something to do. He is one of the best actors out there (“Angels in America,” “Broken Flowers.”) This role is a waste of time for him.
Grade: 5

Talking: There are two types of conversations in this film … One, America is overmedicated on anti-depressants, and two, isn’t the world better off as aliens if it means no more war? Both conversations are forced.
Grade: 4

Sights and sounds: In the 1978 film, human-sized pods were the special effect used to show that someone became an alien. The special effects are a step up here, but don’t add any real creepy factor. In fact, I was amazed that a thriller like this only made me jump once.
Grade: 5

OVERALL

“Invasion” doesn’t have the thrills, acting or message to glue people to their seats. The first scene sets the stage for something intense, but then the next 30 minutes play out like an ordinary drama. And after that, we’re stuck with Nicole Kidman wandering around the city. Plus, the message seems to be that aliens can lead us to peace, unless we disagree, and then they’ll use violence to get that peace. That seems more American than anything else. There is a great idea here for a film, and it’s already been done. Treat yourself to the Donald Sutherland version, plus, his perm is more frightening than anything that happens in “Invasion.”

Overall Grade: 4

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