The Host, directed by Andrew Niccol, is a film adaptation based off the young adult science fiction novel from Stephenie Meyer. Starring Saorise Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, Chandler Canterbury, Diane Kruger, and William Hurt this is most definitely one for fans of the story. If you're not into invasion of the body snatcher type films mixed with young adult romance, then you won't get much of anything out of this one. For everyone else, it's worth a watch!
What if everything you love was taken from you in the blink of an eye? "The Host" is the next epic love story from the creator of the "Twilight Saga," worldwide bestselling author, Stephenie Meyer. When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about - Jared (Max Irons), Ian (Jake Abel), her brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and her Uncle Jeb (William Hurt) , proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.
The Host comes in at 2 hours and 5 minutes, and while that's a lengthy run-time you have to keep in mind, there's a lot of story to tell. Did the scenes lag a little here and there? Sure it did. Was the acting a little shoddy at times? Yeah, it totally was. Could this movie have been done better? You bet. But now, ask me if I care? (Pretend you asked) I don't! I liked this for what it was and enjoyed how much of the book was inserted into this film.
The movie starts out following a young woman and her kid brother, the last few humans left without an alien host. Scrounging for food, running from the hosted seekers and trying to make it through another day in their own bodies. The aliens in this story have invaded earth to save us from ourselves, save the planet from being destroyed, and giving us total peace and tranquility. What you find out is we had no say in the matter and we were given no choice if we wanted a host. It's an invasion, plain and simple, passive as the aliens may be it was a different species coming in and taking us over.
When Melanie, our leading lady, gets captured by the seekers she's then given a host to take over her body. Melanie is a fighter to the core, after making a promise to her younger brother and the man she loves, she fights to have an inner voice inside the new host. Little by little she digs in her heels and gets the alien entity to open her eyes and see our world for what it is. Some funny lines between host and inner voice. Melanie kept me invested in her characters struggle and triumphs.
This story has some very dark undertones, there's abuse, extreme prejudice and murder. The real standout actor here is Saorise who's ability to take on her character helped sell the storyline. She's talented beyond those young years and one I'm going to keep my peepers on in the future. While the screen adaptation left much to be desired, she works wonders with her part and pulls the magical curtain over the plot holes that were thrown at her feet.
There were a few awkward dialog lines and one stand out [When Jamie stands on a ledge and says 'No!". Cheesy.] that had me doing an eye roll and gaging sounds. In-depth character background were greatly needed, the uncle in particular was left out on the line to hang dry. While William Hurt is a phenomenal actor, his bits were hacked down to a stump which lead to a confusing old man who didn't seem like the looney tune he was in the book. While cuts need to be made in book to movie adaptions, I hate it so deeply when the characters that kept a story afloat are reduced to fodder.
Overall the film is really and truly one for the fans of the book who also understand the slow pace and character backstories. But, to be safe I am recommending that everyone else try and catch the cheap showing or wait for the DVD.
Getting 3 and 1/2 'I need your car' Sheep