Movie Details

The Host

Based on the science fiction/romance novel by Stephenie Meyer (the "Twilight" franchise), Andrew Niccol ("In Time") directs this film with the up-and-coming cast of Saoirse Ronan ("Hanna"), Max Irons ("Red Riding Hood"), and Jake Abel ("I Am Number Four"). Alien beings from another planet called Souls, have invaded the earth and have begun to take over the bodies and minds of humans. Melanie Stryder`s body has been inhabited by one of the "souls" named Wanderer, but when she refuses to fade away, the Soul known as Wanderer, is forced to cooperate with Melanie to find her companions, who are the last group of rebels left on Earth.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 28 Mar 2013
Genre: Thriller / Science Fiction
Running Time: 2 Hours 5 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Jake Abel, Diane Kruger, Max Irons
Director: Andrew Niccol
Format: 35MM

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Review
Writer: Dzamira Dzafri

Writer Ratings:
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Watch this if you liked: "Body Snatchers", "The Faculty", "Disturbing Behavior" & "The Twilight Saga"

Seeing as this film's storyline was brought to you by none other than the author who brought you the "Twilight" saga, most of you may run away screaming at the thought of watching another mom-approved love story between a teenage girl and a misunderstood boy.

While "The Host" is most certainly those things, this Stephanie Meyer-penned story might be more of your cup of tea if you weren't a fan of the "Twilight" movies in the first place. It is definitely different unlike the vampire-werewolf supernatural plot, thus some may find it easier to tolerate than that particular scene in "Breaking Dawn 2" featuring the CGI baby with an adult face.

The plot of "The Host" has to be commended because it is quite out of the ordinary. In this world, aliens from another planet had taken over several planets including Earth, but instead of conquering with violence like in "War Of The Worlds", they use human bodies as 'hosts' by living in them and try to 'make the planet a better place peacefully', even though that eventually kills of the human soul. The aliens basically use the human carcass to walk around Earth like a hermit crab using shells.

Of course this side of the alien's plan doesn't bode well with the small amount of feisty remaining humans who are strong enough to fight for survival and for the people they love. They remain in hiding to survive the aliens catching them and using them as hosts.

So this is where Melanie Stryder comes in, played by actress Saoirse Ronan from the films "Atonement" and "Hanna". If you didn't notice, it's hilarious how the character's name sounds a lot like the author's name, only with a few letters jumbled up.

Ronan has the difficult role of playing both a human character and the alien who lives inside her, especially when the film has a corny way of telling the story with the alien constantly having conversations with Melanie's voice in her head. However, it would have been even weirder if we were to see just see her face and two characters with the same voice talking to each other. Even with this challenge, Ronan manages to pull it off really well.

However, the only problem with her role that needed to be addressed was her chemistry with love interest Jared Howe played by Max Irons, which just wasn't there. It might have been because Max Irons, although very attractive, might not have had as much acting chops as Ronan and Jake Abel, who played Ian.

When the character Ian first made an impression on screen, you could not help but think "Oh no, not another love triangle", but if you love watching movies for eligible young bachelors you would not mind having him around at all. Even the more sadistic third wheel of the boy's club, Kyle was fun to watch.

Before the guys find this romance talk off-putting, there are still questions that need to be answered. Are there actually any car scenes at all like what was promised and displayed vehemently on posters and billboards? Are there cool chrome Lotus Evora cars traveling nearly at the speed of light, and will there be enough violence and guns to keep one entertained? The answer to all those questions is an absolute, yes!

Diane Kruger's bad-ass persona mixed in with her chrome Evora, and even a hint of mild violence could easily attract guys to watch it willingly and develop a personal obsession with how sleek the car looks on screen.

Director Andrew Niccol had tried really hard not to turn this into another "Twilight", and it is a job well done. But you still cannot hide the fact that "The Host" is still a Stephanie Meyer story, and it still has its huge parallels - the weird unconventional love triangle with a twist and act of sacrificing for their families and loved ones.

On the whole, the film is great when you want a fun movie to watch and you may even shed a tear or two for Melanie's plight. While it is not obviously flawed, it still supersedes "Twilight" and of course, the absence of Kristen Stewart's lack of expression here is all thanks to Saoirse's ability to enchant audiences throughout, making "The Host" a much better film than "Twilight".

Cinema Online, 03 April 2013
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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