Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel
Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Written By: Andrew Niccol
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 6 min
After spending a little over two hours with this film, I’m still having a hard time knowing this came from the same person that wrote and directed Gattaca (1997). Unlike Gattaca, The Host takes an interesting premise and feeds it to some kind of bizarre studio money-making machine. This story comes from the pages of a Stephenie Meyer novel, who you may already know wrote the Twilight series. Here again the main drama settles around a sappy love triangle. Only is it a love square this time since Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is being driven around her own body by The Wanderer alien entity? Either way the whole thing just screamed of a studio trying to emulate that earlier success, and lord only knows how they managed to make a worse ‘Twilight’ film!
There’s little to no chemistry between the supposed love interests, and the main character’s motivations are all over the place. First they try to kill her, then they want to kiss her. It has plenty more issues too. The Seeker (Diane Kruger) finds a drawing of a mountain range and successfully locates it on the computer. Does she go straight there with her team? No. Why? Who knows. Melanie along with her host The Wanderer, nearly kills herself/themselves (?) trying to find her family and friends to let them know she’s okay. Only to then decide to keep that knowledge from them. Why? Who knows. The Wanderer claims to be over one thousand years old, yet seems about as mature as Melanie. Why? Who really cares at this point? The Host is a really bad film. An interesting premise is destroyed in a hastily made and poorly written attempt to rekindle the Twilight fever. It fails thankfully, and I hope if they dare plan a sequel, they let a director like Andrew Niccol tell the story unencumbered.
If you’re into science fiction, I’d stay away from this one. The premise is interesting, but this film isn’t interested in exploring that, and instead opts to be a poorly executed romance. If you’re a huge fan of the Twilight series you may buy what this film is selling you. But, and I can’t believe I’m saying this. Despite Twilight’s many faults, as least that romance angle had a smidgen of believability about it.
In between bouts of rolling my eyes in disbelief, I did occasionally focus on some very decent photography. A big screen matinée showing would showcase that. A HD showing at home will work too.
Best Moment: << spoiler! >>
This is a spoiler so beware. Near the end of the film, The Seeker is captured, and her symbiant is removed without killing the human host. As the host wakes up a fully restored human being, she reveals her name is Lacey. It’s actually a really nice scene, and really well played by Diane Kruger.