Reviews & Counting
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The Invasion(2007)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel

Nicole Kidman/Carol
Daniel Craig/Ben
Jeremy Northam/Tucker
Jeffrey Wright/Dr. Galeano
6 10
After a Space Shuttle mysteriously crashes back to earth, hot legged Doctor Carol (Kidman) begins to notice increasingly oddball behavior from the populace around her. She teams up with shaken and stirred cool duder Doctor Ben (Daniel Craig) and together they strive to get at the bottom of shite while society crumbles around them. And how was your freaking day?
I’ve always had a soft spot for the BODY SNATCHERS franchise. Maybe it’s the social commentaries/metaphors that come with the concept (I love how they always apply to the specific political climate of their times) or maybe they’re just mucho kool movies that kick serious horror ass, or maybe its both; I just dig them. In my opinion there should be a Snatchers movie made at least every 10 years. So I didn’t give a Buck Rogers about the negative buzz this fourth retelling had tagged to its derriere or cared about all them re-shoot stories. All I wanted, was to once again go mano et mano with some mimicking E.T.s busting chops. Was it a good fight?

In terms of the Body Snatchers series, THE INVASION was the most distant as to its source material. No pods, no replicas, just alien DNA integrated within human organisms. Although it didn’t bother me much, the eerie pods were somewhat missed by yours truly. At the same time, nothing wrong with putting a new spin on an old idea. In fact, the changes (some groovy schemes here) kept me on my toes since my pre-conceived expectations as to the franchise were diddled with. Now, there are two ways to look at The Invasion. On one end it was a semi smart and low key thriller and on the other it was pure overblown Popcorn fluff-stuff. Sadly the feature I liked the most was the one the film muscled out the less; the former ",underplayed and smart". To be fair, it did randomly succeed in tapping into what always frightened me about the Body Snatchers premise: to witness the people you love be replaced by soulless similes. The thought of it alone gives me the willies. When that game was being played, The Invasion firmly had me by the Hacky-Sack. It handled those sequences with flair and a penchant for tension (loved the Veronica Cartwright subplot — it so worked and was a nice touch).

Problem was, the more the flick moved forward, the more it left its IQ behind and focused on extensive chase/action sequences that sometimes felt like they belonged in another film. That split me in the middle. On one end, I was bummed that it had sold itself short to become just a vacuous Bronco ride. But on the other, hey, I dig easy thrills (just ask my ex and her whore of a sister) and the action set pieces here were thankfully eye popping and stimulating. There is a fine line that separates a good film and an entertaining one; and The Invasion just stood on it, switching sides throughout. My biggest peeve with the flick though was that it rushed through its happenings like nobody’s coked up paperboy, hence not giving me the room to be fully affected by the many plot twists or/and the social/political allegories. Why the freaking hurry man? RELAX! And what was up with that weird, editing tendency to roll out montages out of the freaking blue that were comprised of scenes that already went down and scenes to come? Felt like a wannabe A.D.D. Band-Aid to keep the kiddies and morons of the world awake. Too bad it didn’t make any freaking sense to my dumb ass. Who's brilliant idea was that??? SHEESH!

And the same can be spat about the random cheap scare tactics (the dream sequence for example i.e. a scene that was shot just to be a cool trailer moment but had no purpose within the film...); they cheapened the film. Finally; the flick overstayed its welcome with like 3 endings going on. Drag, drag, drag... I was satisfied at ending #1 yo! On the whole like I said, fun doesn't necessarily mean good. So yeah,  I still got some cheap kicks out of The Invasion. I was consumed by the premise, the pace was zippy, the visuals impressive while the top notch actors jacked it all up to a higher level. You  just can’t go wrong with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig as your leads...YOU JUST CAN’T! Class baby... CLASS! Too bad somebody out there wouldn’t let it be the film it wanted to be and IT SHOWED! Yet another result of art and business clashing. Snatch this snatch!
The film wasn’t gruesome much, if at all. Other than peeps being physically affected by the Snatcher virus (yuk) and gun shot wounds, not much here. Didn’t grate me though, it just wasn’t that that kind of film.
Nicole Kidman (Carol) had the presence, acting chops and intensity to totally woo me on her side. Yes her accent kept switching but I didn’t care. She owned! Daniel Craig (Ben) jacked up the charisma to “great man” status and I bought it! Jeremy Northam (Tucker) was ideal casting as the main baddie. Likeable yet menacing. Jeffrey Wright (Dr. Galeano) and Jackson Bond (Oliver) did just fine with what they had to do. It was a treat to witness Veronica Cartwright (Wendy Lenk) kicking it in yet another Body Snatchers film (she was a lead in the 70’s one). She tackled her role with gusto and was mucho credible! Love that dame!
T & A
The shot of Miss Kidman in them see-through white pants stimulated me more than any tit shot ever could. WTF was wrong with Tom Cruise? How he let a class broad like her go is beyond me. I guess he prefers couches, brainwashed babes and men.
Oliver Hirschbiegel did wonders when it came to communicating claustrophobia within confined and even wide open spaces. You really felt like there was nowhere to run from these pesky aliens. The creative shots, the unsettling atmosphere and the unique camera angles also added to the experience. Too bad his editor played against him.
John Ottman delivered a spooky, subtle yet crawl under skin score that did wonders for the flick. Adored it!
Well paced for the most part, Aces High acted (except for Kidman’s every changing accent), slick looking and high on thrills (if you get into it that is, I did) THE INVASION gave me a buck and a half of action, some neat concepts and opressive creepiness. As the end credits rolled, I could say I was glad I saw it. On that, whoever edited this flick (or told the editor how to edit) should be shipped to Troma for an education. And big thumbs down to the "mook" who proposed to turn what was supposed to be an Oliver "Das Experiment" Hirschbiegel suspense/character driven sci fi opus into a summer ride via McTeigue/Wachowskis re-shoots. Yeah...great move there...BOOOO! I say wait for the DVD to tap its pod, it will go down REAL well that way. And hopefully we'll also get a Director’s Cut of the film slapped our way. I’d personally kill to see the original version! Kill I said. KILL!
The original release date was pushed back a year. The uncredited Wachowskis and director James McTeigue did 17 days of reshoots on the film.

Director Hirschbiegel had this to say about the re-shoots: "We had them come in and look at it with an original eye. And they came up with some surprisingly smart suggestions that went further in my direction."