Invasion (2007) -

The Conspirators

Carol: Nicole Kidman
Ben: Daniel Craig
Tucker: Jeremy Northam
Oliver: Jackson Bond
Dr. Galeano: Jeffrey Wright
Wendy: Veronica Cartwright

The Mastermind

Directed by: Oliver Hirschbiegel.
Written by: David Kajganich.

Based on the novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney.

Running time: 95 minutes.
Rated PG-13 (for violence, disturbing images and terror)

See the movie trailer


Absolutely zilch. Rating: 1 UFO

Matt DeReno Staff Writer

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The Invasion, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, is an improbable affair of aliens following us to Earth and spreading all over the place because of how they took a bad ride on a Space Shuttle. This is a great image to remember because this Sci-Fi flick is one long snore of a space shuttle wreck and it surely is an invasion, or assault might be a better word, on our sensibilities as film goers and fans of the Sci-Fi genre.

I am convinced it must be one of Nicole Kidman's worst flicks, and it doesn't help the cause of female lead heroes. As the rumor mongers purport, this film can't muster enough interest to carry an action-packed thriller extravaganza. This film will not end those rumors anytime soon and lends sad credence to bozos who think the lead should only go to the guy.

In fairness to Kidman, there is not much anyone one could have done with this film. The dialogue was as stilted as the zombie-like aliens the human race had become. For some bizarre reason, I was waiting for Daniel Craig to turn into James Bond and start killing a bunch of human-host aliens. That never happened.

So, what did happen?

Well, in the tradition of all the Body Snatcher flicks (this film is the last of the books by the author) since the original Invasion of The Body Snatcher in 1958, a race of aliens comes to Earth and begins to spread by taking over human hosts. We are given clues as to the extent of the problem as more and more people are telling their psychologist, Nicole Kidman, things such as “My husband just is not who he is.”

Oh, if I had a dollar for every time someone said that in this movie.

In a bizarre take, the movie puts forth the notion that today's version of the Body Snatchers could possibly serve as a panacea for our world problems. There is some gibberish incessantly pumped out of TVs about how all the cultures that traditionally hated each other are signing peace accords. There is some stupid part about the last soldier leaving Iraq and leaving peace in its wake. They even show a quick image of George Bush on TV. Is this to suggest he too is an alien? If so, where are the MIBs?

I am left wondering, what do these little background snippets suggest? That America is the reason there is turmoil in Iraq? That if we would simply pack up and let Al Qaeda run the show, well, then peace be on Earth. Good lord! This sort of convoluted insanity is weaved throughout this gawd-awful film with little thought and even less regard for the intelligence of the film goer.

By ridiculous extension of what might construe the movie's agenda, would we assume that wars and cultural differences are what make us human, and therefore to give those up would be to turn us into emotionless zombies? What social commentary to draw from the movie's stance is as hard to extract as squeezing a drop of water from a rock? There isn't any water in the rock and no sensible thought in this movie. We are left with a lame-ass attempt to make a point.

It gets worse.

The contagion is spread by alien-infected hosts puking on you. From here, it gets out of hand. The aliens mostly walk like zombie-like automatons that have nothing to do, but they can run after you when the plot requires a car chase. A more interesting take, in my opinion, would be aliens that try to woo you in some way.

For instance, instead of puking on you, maybe “Sally just ain't the same old Sally” because suddenly Sally is a hot seductress. Now that would be different, though such a plot could be hijacked easily for adult film purposes. That aside, it would be better than the spoon-fed contrite drivel we had to endure.

Perhaps, the most interesting and challenging aspect of the whole bomb can be found neatly summed up on the movie poster, which proclaims, “Trust No One. Do Not Show Emotion. Don't Fall Asleep.”

I was beginning to wonder if these dire proclamations were instructions on how to act in this film.

For the most part, there was nothing remotely interesting between Kidman and Craig. There was zero chemistry between Kidman and her child, who was one of the rare ones that was immune to being hosted by the aliens.

Another flaw is the lack of wonderment at all about how we were overwhelmed by the aliens. Great entertainment flicks such as Jurassic Park for one, convey a sense of scientific wonder at what is going on. They put the dinosaurs on center stage as merely a believable extension of what science knows today.

Here in The Invasion, we are simply given scientists who explain nothing about people. Nicole Kidman is a psychologist and even though she looks at people and perhaps knows certain things seem weird, it would be nice if she explained why, thus lending a little credibility to her character. It doesn't even take much either. I mean, Star Trek fans just need to hear Spock babble about something weird and lo and behold, credibility is bore.

To give Kidman's character a job as a psychologist and merely show her office as evidence is not enough to establish her as real.

Maybe humans don't display herd-like mentality or something like that. I don't know. I am reaching. At least I am thinking, something the producers of this flick didn't do.

They dropped the ball again when the chemist or whoever he was solved The Invasion by merely looking at one slide under a microscope all in a matter of five minutes. The last time I recall it took us a lot longer to cure Polio. Not sure for an alien virus that hijacks our bodies.

And lastly, the part on the movie poster about “Do Not Fall Asleep.” That was nearly an insurmountable instruction to follow – for those within the film or watching it.



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