The Invasion

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stars] [IMDb Link] This movie is the fourth version of Jack Finney's Invasion of the Body Snatchers; the previous versions were made in 1956, 1978, and 1993. [I didn't remember the 1993 one at all: thanks, IMDB!] At this rate, the fifth remake should come out in 2024 or so, starring Abigail Breslin and the kid from The New Adventures of Old Christine. I'll probably wait for the DVD on that one too.

But I can't resist making a similar point to one I've raised in the past: it's nice that Jack Finney gets his book made into a movie four times, but why can't we get a single freakin' decent Robert Heinlein movie? Sigh.

Well, one reason is that plot: alien invaders turn your friends and family into conspiratorial zombies whose only goal is to zombify you and everyone else. That's an appealing blank slate for Hollywoodians to write a "message" on. The 1956 version is alleged by deep thinkers to be either about Communism or McCarthyism, maybe both. When I first saw it as a youngster, I was oblivious to that; it was just good creepy science fiction.

In this version, the pods are gone, replaced by a takeover method that's even more disgusting, albeit in a PG-13 way. Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter are replaced by Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig (respectively). In a tedious dinner-party scene, Nicole pronounces herself a "postmodern feminist", which I assume is part of the "message", but I didn't get it. I was kind of hoping this would mean she'd analyze the takeover using incomprehensible prose while puffing on French cigarettes. No such luck: when push comes to shove, she's screaming, running, and shooting just as I would imagine Ann Coulter might do, but Ann would be funnier.

Bottom line: more fun to make fun of than actually watch. But there's no Rifftrax available, so I can't recommend it.

Last Modified 2024-02-01 5:35 AM EDT