Another Stephanie Meyer’s book adaptation full of teen romance. I have nothing against teen romance, seriously, the problem comes when you waste a good story, and interesting enough world or universe, to bring the “romantic” themes that don’t help the movie (or the book, but I didn’t read it, sorry, this is all about the movie). The same thing happened with The Twilight Saga, and we discovered on a tv show like The Vampire Diaries that it can be done, but less cheesy, a little bit darker, and so much funny. Now with The Host we have the same problem. Just some weeks ago Beautiful Creatures was released. Same target, similar teen love story… But much better. In every possible way.
As I said the story is promising. The Earth has been conquered by an alien race of “souls” that inhabits our bodies and erases our souls. The world is now quiet, peaceful, clean and kind. But the humans are mostly gone. There are a few still free that fight for survival, but they are losing. When a young human girl is captured and inhabited by an alien, Wanderer, the fight for survival begins inside her head, two souls and one single body. Running away from the aliens, she will find herself living in a small human community that hates her. Promising story that could be employed to talk about our society, our taste for violence, what makes us humans, what scares us the most… The issues that the best sci-fi movies are about. A really good metaphor. And it is wasted with a soap opera love story that bores you through the movie.
Andrew Niccol does his best to make the movie compelling. And visually it is. It looks like a much bigger budget film. The landscapes, the caves, the production design, some really powerful sequences… but it’s not enough because the main problem is the script, the story behind those images, it relies too much on the four ladder love story and leaves the really interesting subjects aside. And it always looks like a Twilight movie. Even when you have a great young actress like Saoirse Ronan, or William Hurt, the only one who knows how to act in the movie without taking himself too seriously. Or Emily Browning, even if she is in the movie for just a few minutes… And the movie doesn’t have action or suspense to balance the romantic stuff…
I know that the people who are going to the theatres to see this movie will be mostly pleased with it. It has the same ingredients as a Twilight film. But in a world where teenage books films are leaded by The Hunger Games or have interesting movies like Beautiful Creatures, what The Host brings is not enough. It’s not nearly enough to please non-fans, people that goes to the movies just too have a great time, to disconnect from their problems. Anyone who is looking for a good sci-fi movie, can step aside. Anyone looking for a way too soapy and cheesy love story… well, it’s their lucky day.
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