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If the world is going to be overrun by an alien race, The Host may not be the absolute best movie to spend your money watching.
Based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight, The Host, premiered in theaters on March 28 at a special 10p.m. showing. The movie shows a messed-up world to the audience in which humans are being taken over by alien life forms known as “Souls.” Humans are seen to be destructive and therefor the Souls see that it is their right to take over the bodies and save the planet by making it more peaceful.
Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) is one of the main characters in this film. She is a human who is on the run from the “seekers.” Seekers are souls purposed with seeking out the humans that are left. Melanie is on the run with her little brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and her lover Jared Howe (Max Irons). While on the run Melanie was cornered by seekers and chooses to take her own life by jumping from a window instead of being taken over. Unfortunately the Souls were able to save her and placed a strong soul called “Wanderer (Saoirse)” in her body. This is where the movie really begins.
Melanie’s soul is still encased in her body as she is a fighter, and most of the movie revolves around Melanie and Wanderer fighting for control. Melanie talks way too much. The first half of the movie is about Wanderer trying to see Melanie’s memories, and in doing so, she becomes sympathetic to Melanie and actually falls “in love” with Jared and Jamie herself.
Melanie constantly screams into Wanderers head much too often and actually becomes irritating to those watching the movie and having read the novel. Anyways, together they escape the traces of the Seeker assigned to Wanderer who is, for lack of better words, an overbearing controlling person. The Seeker (Diane Kruger) never gives up search though.
Long story short, Melanie/Wanderer follow a map in Melanie’s head to a hidden sanctuary inside a mountain where Melanie’s Uncle Jeb (William Hurt). Here Wanderer, now nicknamed Wanda, meets Ian O’Shea (Jake Abel) and his angry brother Kyle (Boyd Holbrook). After being held captive and almost killed by Jared, Ian, and Kyle, Wanda is welcomed into the surviving community by the slightly crazy Jeb.
The movie lacks a timeline reaching about this time and it feels almost instantly that Ian falls in love with Wanda and Wanda falls in love with him. No, Melanie is still in love with Jared. How is this possible? While watching you have to remember that Melanie is trapped inside Wanda now and so there are literally two minds.
True to Stephenie Meyer fashion we are introduced to a love triangle, well square really, in which, due to the lack of timeline, never really develops. Much rest of the movie involves Wanda fighting for control to have time with Ian, Melanie fighting for control to keep Wanda away from Ian and Jared, and everyone’s fight to save Jamie’s life. Oh, right, Jamie cuts his leg early on in the movie and everyone forgets about it for a while until the screenwriter remembered that Jamie’s wound was an essential part to the book and plot.
The end is probably just what everyone expects so I won’t say much other than the fact that the only timeline that is introduced happens in the last five minutes in which it appears to say “Months Later” on the screen. Still vague. Still undeveloped.
Saving this movie was the accurate character acting. Able and Irons both portrayed believable, rough edged men in this surviving community. Although looking and sounding great on screen, not much else can be distinguished because of the lack of character development in the movie. The screenwriting developed very little character backgrounds and because of the timeline the movie suffered greatly. If they had wished to pull off the love triangle in a more successful way without developing characters, more effort could have been put into developing the feel that they were trapped in the cave for months and months instead of just stating it at the end.
Saoirse, although perfect fit for the portrayal of Wanda’s kind and sensitive side, poorly showed a strong Melanie. The attitude in the movie is that Melanie is a strong fighter and stubborn. Saoirse and her soft voice may not have been the best choice, but she pulls it off as best she could. The best part of the movie was Hurt’s acting as Uncle Jeb.
The Host is much different from Meyer’s other saga, and should appeals to a wider variety of people. It still has romance, but is also laced with action, complex thinking, and a largely sci-fi feel. Although maybe not the best choice for an expensive theater movie, it won’t be bad as a Red Box movie.