Sunday, April 7, 2013
At the beginning of the month, I couldn't really decide if I should attempt to fit The Host into my movie schedule. Anything written by the Twilight author can't be THAT good, but I was willing to give it a shot. Then, after seeing the measly 12% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, I was officially ready to watch almost anything else (except for G.I. Joe). However, at this point, it was too late. I had already told my girlfriend (huge Twilight fan) that we could go, and I was not getting out of it. So, with my expectations depleted, I headed out to watch a Twilight-written Invasion of the Body Snatchers, hoping that there would be very little sucking face and a lot of socking faces in. With my expectations being so low, The Host had an opportunity to surprise me.
Well, the premise was far from original, but the biggest problem was the strangeness and awkwardness of the conversations between Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) and her body-snatcher Wanda the Wonderer. There is nothing logical about a girl having a conversation in her own head with an alien life form that has taken over her body. However, The Host did an absolutely awful job of displaying that unnatural conversation. I just couldn't take any part of the movie seriously, because it almost felt like a comedy, as if it were a sketch on Saturday Night Live. I'm still baffled that the director and/or Stephanie Meyer couldn't figure out some better way to display this conversation. I think the story could have been good if I wasn't laughing at the awkward stupidity throughout. But, I was laughing at the awkward stupidity throughout.
The Host was one of those films that centered on one character with the potential for a future that focuses on many characters, much like The Hunger Games. Katniss was the obvious focus of the first film, but I have a feeling that we will delve deeper into many more characters as the movie series moves along, even though she will remain the focal point. Melanie/Wanda was at the very center of the entire storyline, but there were many others around her. They just weren't given a chance to really develop as characters. If these characters would have been given a backstory of some kind, I might've been a bit more interested in their well being, but, instead, I didn't really feel like I was supposed to care about anyone, aside from Melanie/Wanda.
The Seeker, played by Diane Kruger, was undoubtedly the most annoying of the characters in the film, and she just popped up at random moments. Sure, every alien invasion movie needs a villain, but that villain should not be so attractive or annoying. Additionally, I could not stand either love interest. Both Ian, played by Jake Abel, and Jared, played by Max Irons, were randomly thrown into the mix. Jared was not as random, but Ian was head over heels for Wanda in less than three minutes, as was Wanda for him. Love stories rarely work for me, because I'm not a teenage girl. However, these relationships were so illogical and weird that I could not help laughing my butt off at some of the moments that were meant to be serious.
Although her decision to play Melanie/Wanda was completely dumb, Saoirse Ronan is a terrific actress with a very bright future ahead of her (and she looks 10 times better than Kristen Stewart). Unfortunately, The Host was not a film that will be receiving many accolades in the acting categories, for Ronan or anyone else. I did like Jamie, played by the young Chandler Canterbury, but that was about it.
Was The Host better than Twilight? ABSOLUTELY... Was The Host better than anything else? NOT MUCH... Unfortunately, this film was unable to exceed my low expectations, and Rotten Tomatoes, once again, predicted my lack of love for this young-adult adaption. The problem was not the story (I hope Stephanie Meyer reads this somehow). The problem was the way the story was put on screen. The film was directed by Andrew Niccol, who directed In Time (back in 2011), and the film had the same feel as In Time did--dull and quiet. Luckily, I do have some good news... Because the film bombed so hard last weekend, I don't expect we will be seeing a sequel to The Host on the big screen. Actually, the young-adult novel adaptation phase of Hollywood's storied history is finally coming to a close. THANK GOD!!! I give The Host 2.02 out of 5 stars, because the last Twilight film got 2.01 out of 5.