Sleep through the Invasion

I went to see The Invasion over the weekend. It is the fourth film version of Jack Finney book the Body Snatchers. Most people think of this series of movies as the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. When I was a little kid I heard someone describe Invasion of the Body Snatchers as scary because all you needed to do was fall asleep and the bad guys would get you.

I was excited when I first read about this remake. I think that there is only one reason that movies should be remade, because there is something new or different to be said about the subject. At the speed the world changes, there are often other ways to view a movie. There are subjects today like the power of the government, Nanny Culture, or psychiatrists use of drugs. All of these ideas might have been interesting.

I know this is not always the case. Movies are remade for all sorts of reasons. The biggest reason movies are remade is because studios think they are going to be able to make money. This remade only made $5 Million dollars in its opening weekend. That is not a good sign.

I thought the movie was okay, but it was not great. If asked if it is worth someone else's time I would tell them to wait for video or cable. It is not worth the trip to the theater.

The problem with this movie is that it never really tackles the ideas that it flirts with. It is just an action movie. The ideas behind what it means for the Invasion to happen are really secondary. It is about a woman who the only thing she has is her son and she is willing to do anything to lose her sun. She has very few struggles in the movie. She does not have to make moral choices to save her sun. She does not wonder if she is doing the right thing. All she knows is that she has to save her son. I think this is why the movie falls apart.

There is a theme about government power, the head of the CDC is the first person infected. The problem is that the movie spends very little time exploring what that means. It does not really show you how that could be really scary. How they could have lined things up for months before pushing the full scale infection.

There is a theme about how humans would stop being humans without conflict. This idea only comes up once. You can see how the life on the street drains as the movie goes on. The problem is that this idea is not explored through the actions of characters

There is one line in the movie where a character compares the main character being a psychiatrists who prescribes drugs to the invaders transforming people. This is only touched on for one line. This would have been a great major theme.

I really wanted the main character to struggle with the idea that the invaders might be right. I wanted her to struggle with the choice of trying to save her son. I wanted her to be make a clearer choice between what is the best for the world and what is the best for her son. The movie did not make her struggle that way.

The movie quickly broke down to being an action film. All of that running and chasing kept the movie from exploring ideas. The problem is that it is not a particularly inventive action movie. The way the main character gets out of tight situation does not make her seem smart of inventive. It just showed her determination.

My disappointment is because this movie could have been so much better. They take a few moments where ideas area really dealt with. But those moments are few are far between and have little to do with the actions of the characters. There is very little moral struggle in this movie and that is just want it needed. There are a dozen great ideas you could have made this movie about that are really relevant to the world. This movie could have been about Group think, people not questioning the government, Globalization, the power of Corporations, just to name a few. This movie franchise has always been about ideas. I am sorry to see this movie doing such a poor job exploring ideas.


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