Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, The Host
"The Earth is at peace. There are no wars. There’s no hunger," intones Saoirse Ronan in The Host’s teaser trailer (see below). "Honesty, courtesy and kindness are practiced by all. The world has never been more perfect. It is no longer your world."
Indeed, it’s not. In my world there are wars and hunger. Dishonesty, rudeness, and viciousness are practiced by way too many.
So, what’s the problem with The Host’s perfect world? Well, things are perfect for the same reason that things are kinda perfect in Don Siegel’s The Invasion of the Body Snatchers: human beings have been taken over by alien invaders known as Souls.
Written and directed by Andrew Niccol (In Time, Gattaca), The Host stars Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (for Atonement) as Melanie, a young woman possessed by a Soul named Wanderer. The problem is that Melanie is a "wild one" — in that she manages to remain herself despite the invading Soul. Eventually, Melanie and Wanderer set out to find Jared (Max Irons), the very handsome man who is ever present in Melanie’s mind. Meanwhile, a Soul named Seeker (Inglourious Basterds’ Diane Kruger) decides both Melanie and Wanderer must be destroyed.
As the Host’s — quite well-made — teaser trailer makes it clear, the film is based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, "author of the Twilight Saga." The teaser adds that "the battle for your world has ended. The battle for your future has begun. You will be one of us." The last line sounds just like one of my favorite bits in Tod Browning’s Freaks. Here’s hoping The Host will be at least half as interesting.
Here’s also hoping that those aliens — for their own sake — arrive soon. Else, there’s a very good chance there won’t be a world for them to conquer or any human beings left for them to inhabit. Distributor Open Road Films, for its part, is surely hoping that The Host will turn out to be another box office phenomenon of (at least borderline) Twilight-ic proportions. Starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, the Twilight movies have grossed more than $2.5 billion at the planetary box office.
The Host opens on March 29, 2013. Also in the cast: Kiss of the Spider Woman / A History of Violence’s William Hurt, I Am Number Four / Good Girl’s Jake Abel, The Roommate / A Single Woman’s Frances Fisher, Repo Men / After Life’s Chandler Canterbury, and Milk / Moving Takahashi’s Boyd Holbrook.
Saoirse Ronan / Max Irons / The Host photo: Open Road Films.