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Alan Jay Factor,
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Steve Fenwick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One science-fiction film that turns out to be less disappointing than expected is this loose adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's novel.
Donald (give me another part in an alien pod movie) Sutherland interprets the role of Adam "The Old Man" Nivens, head of a secret government protection agency that has its hands full trying to stop an alien invasion by slug-like mental parasites which tap into people's brains, controlling them toward their own ends.
Eric Thal (of A STRANGER AMONG US) draws a blank where a strong character should be in the role of Sam, son of the Old Man, and fellow agent. Julie Warner (from DOC HOLLYWOOD) fares a little better as Mary, a NASA xenobiologist along for the roller coaster ride.
The opening scenes do justice to the setting and atmosphere of the book, and the skeleton of the original plot is unpredictable and thrilling, but eventually, the compromises in adaptation give rise to Hollywood-style sci-fi conventions such as alien hives.
Several realistic, key elements are thrown out, along with almost all of the sharp dialogue which made the book a hit.
However, the special effects are convincing, and the cinematography and editing are streamlined and tight. Far from being definitive, this version of the tale is nonetheless sufficiently satisfying and worth a look.
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