Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam, Jackson Bond,
Released by: Warner Bros.
Short: A good-looking cast can't save this
oft-told tale of body-stealing aliens from
being a predictable rehash of a Fifties classic.
Too Many Visits from the Body Snatchers
Hollywood latches on to a good idea, they often have
a hard time letting go. That's the only explanation for “The
Invasion,” the fourth film version of Jack Finney's
fine 1955 novel “The Body Snatchers.” This
time out, an alien life force penetrates the earth's
atmosphere by attaching itself to a returning Space Shuttle,
and immediately proceeds to use the world's human population
as a host, changing people into a completely new race
while leaving their bodies intact.
Kidman stars as a psychiatrist and single mother of
a young son (Jackson Bond). Her ex-husband (Jeremy
Northam) is one of the first to be transformed, and
she catches on to the grave danger of the alien invasion.
She then enlists the help of two doctor friends (the
swooningly handsome Daniel Craig of James Bond fame,
and intense actor Jeffrey Wright) in an attempt to stave
off the body-snatching invasion by figuring out an antidote
to the infection.
usual, Kidman looks terrific, but her performance lacks
the emotional warmth necessary to make us want to root
for her as she races around trying to save both her young
son and the human race, all the while staying
awake, for if she sleeps, the aliens will take over her
body, too. It's a frenetic performance without any soul.
Thankfully, director Oliver Hirschbiegel (a German who
makes his English-speaking Hollywood film debut with
the flick) at least keeps the action moving, so that
the audience is able to enjoy chase scenes and flaming
car crashes that distract from the leading lady's obvious
struggle with her characterization.
the real problem with “The Invasion” goes
deeper than Nicole Kidman's lackluster performance,
into the reality that we all know from the first frame
exactly what is going to happen by the end of the film.
Will our heroine and her son make it out alive, along
with her hunky co-star at her side? Most likely. Will
humanity be saved? Most likely. Is there any reason
to pay to see this, rather than renting the still-number-one
version of this story, the 1956 film “Invasion
of the Body Snatchers”? Not for a minute.