Hello Internet, I’m back. In more ways than one, I was planning on posting yesterday but then I spent the entire way reminding my stomach exactly which direction food was supposed to go post-consumption. It was wonderful!
But now here I am, stomach still complaining but at least not putting on its own private fireworks display featuring my prior meals. I’m also back from my historic Mainecation which was awesome and great and wonderful but which did not feature a single moose (which is too bad) nor a single lobster (which I am totally okay with.) But enough of that, enough of family happiness and trips down memory lane with a top hat and a box of chocolates. Instead let’s talk about Movies! Or (more specifically)
As some of you know The Host is a movie based on a book written by Stephanie Meyer a woman famed around the world for banging her head against a keyboard and accidentally writing Twilight. So, will the Host be another movie like Twlight? A movie so bad that it will actually make your face hurt. A movie so bad your brain will try and escape your cranium through your ears? Well, let’s find out together shall we? By taking a magical journey slightly further down this page to a bold typed heading called…
The Host opens up with an old voiced typed person explaining to us in his raspy death voice that the Earth has been invaded. And not just invaded, no no, it has been conquered! (dun dun duhhhh!!!) Humans have been largely extinctified by an alien species that take over our bodies and steer them around like I steer a celery wrapped rabbit around umm… yeah… no idea what happened there. That sentence just took on a life of its own. Also I’m sick and for some reason celery is on the brain.
Anyway, our movie starts with an alien who takes over the body of a person named Melanie Strider. The alien calls herself “Wanderer” because she likes to (get ready for it) wander. But all is not well for Wanderer because Melanie seems to still be kicking around inside of her brain, like a really annoying roommate except she’s constantly there, and probably smells better than most of my college roommates. Anyway Melanie keeps brain blathering on and on about how much she loves Jared (her former man friend) and Jamie (tragically named brother) to the point where the Wanderer wanders out into the middle of the Desert trying to find them. Which is about as much explanation as the movie ever gives us on this point.
Not to give away too much of the plot here but Wanderer (who the Desert typed people call Wanda because they hate her and decide to use the worst possible name ever for her) finds Jamie (who let me remind you is a male) and Jared but they hate her because they think she’s an alien because she sort of is an alien but is also sort of Melanie and also sort of annoying. The Wanderer falls in love with some dude who happens to also live there who she has spoken to a few times but Melanie is still in love with Jared, and Jamie is still an annoying child who somehow manages to stab his own stupid self in the leg.
An extremely slow beginning makes it hard to really care about what’s going on in The Host until your about thirty minutes into it. I mean it’s never an action movie by any means but the climax of the first thirty minutes of the movie is when someone is completely humanely knocked out by some alien sleep spray. There’s not even much talking in the first thirty minutes it’s just a lot of people staring meaningfully at each other while they exchange dialogue that has NOTHING to do with anything that will occur in the movie.
In other pacing issues the middle of the movie seems really rushed. We spend no time at all watching Wanderer get to know the humans but by the end of the movie they’re all one big happy family for reasons that we never ever actually get to see. Wanderer falls in love with some guy who she shares a total of maybe one conversation with and that’s after he initially tries to strangle her to death which (from my understanding) is a fairly bad way to introduce oneself.
On the whole the movie just lacks a lot of the side things that a movie like this needs. Sure the core story is pretty good and the characters are interesting (somewhat) but the humor the movie attempts is bland and falls flat before its first baby humor steps. And the one or two action scenes that some writer somewhere hammered into the script because someone in corporate said “we need an action scene so we can put it in the trailer” both feel ludicrously out of place and aren’t particularly interesting either. The main one featuring what could only be described as a “moderate speed chase” involving two characters who we neither care about nor who we have ever seen before in the movie.
It’s also probably worth mentioning that Diane Kreuger (who I’m not a huge fan of on the whole) plays a character so mind numbingly annoying I found myself sincerely wishing that whatever writer took her from a minor character in the book to a major character in the movie would fall on top of an ant hill while covered in jelly donuts.
The one thing this movie has going for it is that it’s actually based on a good book with a very interesting storyline and that bleeds through just a little bit into the movie. The Wanderer is an interesting character and the problems and potential solutions given to the whole one-head, two brains thing will keep you interested.
Yeah there was only one thing in the positive column but really The Host wasn’t as bad as that makes it look. It was somewhat bland though which makes it hard to pick out anything that I really really liked about it. Like a bowl of oatmeal the Host was unspectacular but not overly terrible, you could see what it was trying to do but it didn’t ever really figure out how to do it. It’s a decent film and about a million times better than Twilight but it’s nothing you’ll find yourself writing home about.
I give it two moderate speed chases out of 5.