The Invasion (2007)
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Review Date: February 07, 2008
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Writer: David Kajganich
Producers: Joel Silver
Nicole Kidman as Carol
Daniel Craig as Ben
Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Galeano
Nicole Kidman is a shrink who loves to wear a lot of clingy sweaters. Okay, wrong focus. Nicole Kidman is a shrink who slowly starts to realize that many people around her are starting to change…in a bad way! She hooks up with Agent 007 in an attempt to find her son, who is now lost among the craziness going down in their fair city. Confused yet? Well, the story isn’t really important, just so you know that aliens have come to Earth and they are taking over human bodies, kinda like in THE THING. An uneven flick ensues.
What an odd picture. In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I’d wager to say that this film had problems “behind the scenes”, but of course, I DO know better and that apparently was the case. Dontcha hate when that happens? That said, I quite enjoyed myself watching this movie from start to finish, with an extremely quick 90-minute runtime, a nice setup, Nicole Kidman looking as sweet as ever and some nice effects, although it definitely had a couple of major strikes against it, including its editing and obvious plot problems. I mean, I love a quick and short movie as much as the next guy (maybe because I myself am quick and short…ta-da-daaaaa!), but some of the extreme editing in this movie just made it feel like it was chopped up by someone who just wanted to bring the film in under 90 minutes or something. You’d be watching Kidman and Daniel Craig discussing what they were thinking of doing in one shot, and before they’d even finish their sentence, we see them in a car and barreling down a street. But it wasn’t always like that, so when the choppiness did occur, it was even more obvious.

Also, as much as Kidman did a great job as the lead “woman in peril”, for fuck’s sakes, are we really supposed to believe that this skinny shrink can outrun almost anybody in that city by miles (and she barely breaks a sweat, kids), handle a gun like a pro and ultimately slip-and-slide a car down city streets like she was Steve McQueen in BULLITT? I don’t think so! The quickie editing and plot issues would also be combined in some scenes, like one in which Kidman is escaping from some “changed people” down a suburban street, and after a QUICK EDIT, she’s already downtown and all by her lonesome now, and after a QUICK EDIT, she’s down in the subway and hopping onto a cart. So we’re never really shown or told how she can just “foot it” from one place to the other (sans car), but we’re supposed to keep going along with it all, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, tomfoolery as such would take me out of the film every now and again, so even though there were a number of pretty suspenseful scenes throughout the movie, I wasn’t completely invested in it all, so none of it really drew me in very deep. Craig and Jeffrey Wright were good in their roles, but pretty wasted overall, while Kidman was solid and her breasts….well, they looked a lot perkier in this film than most of her other movies, that’s for sure. Go figure.

The story was a fun one though, the effects of the “aliens” infecting their human hosts were creepy, the car chase scene was a good time (thanks Wachowskis!) and the film’s first 30 minutes had an effective pace to them, really setting up “the invasion” well, but ultimately the movie edited itself out of my comfort zone, included a few too many “That didn’t really make sense” scenes into the mix and ended way too abruptly, much like I AM LEGEND. Again, it almost felt like someone said, “I know we can probably add another 10 minutes of exposition here, but let’s bring this film in under 90 minutes, hey fellas?” and tacked a quickie epilogue to it all, and banged the credit sequence out two seconds after that. I don’t know. That said, I would be interested in seeing a “Director’s Cut” of this movie. Might be much cooler. PS: If this film mentioned the war in Iraq one more time (in the background, of course), I was gonna have a conniption!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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