Last November the Twilight series came to an end. You had people sobbing over that and some that jumped for joy. I was never a fan. The best one out of the series was the third, but it still couldn’t rise above being mediocre. Obviously, Twilight wasn’t something targeted to me. In the end, it pleased its fan base while excluding everyone else. Series such as Harry Potter, or The Hunger games just recently can please die-hard fans while managing to bring in people who never read the books before. Twilight was aimed at its die-hard fans with such intensity, that in a way, it forcible excluded anyone else. Stephenie Myer (the author of the Twilight books) has another one of her book’s adapted to the big screen – The Host. Myer substitutes vampires and werewolves for aliens. For people wondering if The Host is just like Twilight, know it is.
Taking place in the near future, a race of aliens called “Souls” have taken over the world. They are jellyfish-looking aliens and get injected into humans. This suspends the humans mind and allows the alien to take full control of the body; the only physical difference is the host’s eyes turn silver. Melanie Stryker (Saoirse Ronan) – a member of the ever decreasing human resistance – gets badly hurt and captured by the “Souls.” She survived from her injuries, but an alien called Wanderer was injected into her. Unlike any other human host, Melanie doesn’t fade away completely. She persuades Wanderer to escape the interrogator and go to a hide out in the desert where her boyfriend Jared (Max Irons) and little brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) are staying. Slowly, Wanderer – dubbed Wanda by Melanie – starts to form an alliance with them. People still don’t know whether to completely trust Melanie or not.
One of the biggest problems is that things get tedious and stay that way. When you get down to it, nothing much happens. A lot of the movie deals with people talking about the same things; just going on and on about the aliens. Of course exposition is a great thing to have. It only works as well as your script does. The screenplay isn’t bad, it just comes off very wooden. A few times an interesting idea or two would be thrown around. Things were going along fairly well for one bit, then the romance aspect started coming into play. It’s a little wired for a while when there is so much danger going on and the main characters care more about their relationships. This all cultivates to another love-triangle. Not only is it cheesy, it can get dumb. I never bought any part of it.
Andrew Niccol wrote the script and directed. The name didn’t ring any bells, but upon some research, it turns out Niccol has done some good stuff in the past. His best work was the screenplay for The Truman Show. He also wrote/directed Lord of War (nothing special, but decent and interesting) and In Time (don’t know why that is so lowly rated, it had some neat ideas along with being a solid movie). Niccol hasn’t really been involved in something that at least had something to it. The Host is his lowest point. Not sure if he was pushed to film a certain way. He seems like a guy who would take a risk or two. Nothing adventures is done. Technical aspects are done well; the filming of the action for one.
The acting was never a major negative factor, nor a positive one however. I’ve always liked Saoirse Ronan. She had a great start to her career in Atonement. Ronan’s also done well in The Way Back, Hanna, The Lovely Bones, and City of Ember. Here, she is solid. There wasn’t much she could really do, though. While Ronan never becomes a bad factor, you tend not to notice how well she’s acting. More like fades into the background. I blame the material more in this particular case because of what I’ve seen her do before. Max Irons, Jake Abel, and Chandler Canterbury were all pretty bland. The characters weren’t written all that great, but still, no life whatsoever is put into the roles. I’ve not been a fan of them in their previous movies as well. Aside for the lead, the cast didn’t work out.
The Host isn’t as dreadful as say the first two Twilight’s (didn’t have those awkward annoying, and monotonous staring moments), but still will most likely only be enjoyed if you were a fan of that series and even more so, the author. I’m not a fan of Myer’s style; I view it as one dimensional and repetitive. The Host isn’t something you’re going to hate even if you do see it or get dragged to it. If all else fails, when the special effects kick in you get to look at a couple of cool things. The day after I saw it, I had already started to forget a good deal, though. Overall, you should know whether or know this is for you. If it’s not for you, then don’t bother.