While returning to Earth, the space shuttle explodes and the fragments bring an alien virus that recodes the human DNA. In Washington, the psychiatrist Carol Bennell observes the modification of the behavior of one of her clients first, then in her former husband and finally in the population in general. Together with her friend Dr. Ben Driscoll the researcher Dr. Stephen Galeano, they discover that the extraterrestrial epidemic affects human beings while sleeping and that her son Ollie, who had chickenpox when he was a baby, is immune to the disease and may save mankind from the outbreak. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Carol is in the pharmacy, she easily grabs a gun from an infected policeman's service holster. However US policemen carry guns in locking holsters that prevent removal unless done in a very specific way. Her first attempt to grab the gun would have been unsuccessful. See more »
Tragic news tonight as the space shuttle "Patriot" explodes during an unscheduled landing attempt.
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This is already the fourth large-scaled film version based on Jack Finney's legendary story "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and I must say this is just one too many. The two oldest films (the 50's film directed by Don Siegel and the 70's version by Philip Kaufman) are righteously regarded at as genre milestones, but the "newer" films don't manage to convey the creepy basic premise in a good old-fashioned and atmospheric way. Abel Ferrara's 1993 film "Body Snatchers" still contained a few very effective moments of fright, but this latest; big-names-involved version became somewhat of a disappointment. It's is clearly noticeable that director Oliver Hirschbiegel ("Downfall", "The Experiment") wanted to make his English language debut like a genuine throwback to paranoid & claustrophobic 50's Sci-Fi, with enthralling suspense, mysteriousness and character development. Unfortunately, however, the producers wanted more spectacle and explosions, and thus hired other people for re-writes and re-shoots. The finished product evidently suffers from this, so my advice would be to try and focus as much as possible on the substantially terrific sequences and the creepily-themed ambiance. The familiar concept is still, according to me at least, the archetype of superior Science Fiction. What if some sort of extraterrestrial force caused people to metamorphose into soulless, emotionless and insensitive replicas of themselves overnight? For some reason, I always found this the most nightmarishly plausible Sci-Fi formula, and apparently many genre fanatics with me. This time, the "epidemic" is generated when a US Space Shuttle, containing the unidentified alien substance, crashes down on earth. Shortly after, the entire population is gradually getting replaced by exact copies. Psychiatrist Carol Bennell desperately tries to get to her son, who's staying with his estranged father and happened to be one of the first victims of the infection. Apart from a couple of really powerful sequences and a few isolated moments of pure shock (the tunnel-accident, for example), "The Invasion" is a rather redundant movie that adds absolutely nothing to the original masterpieces. The alien menace isn't very detectable here and the fear in the eyes of the survivors is never fully convincing. The additions to the original storyline, like for example the sub plot on immunity, are inefficient and not compelling. Nicole Kidman, of whom I'm usually not a big fan, is quite good looking in this film and her performance is more than adequate. Her male co-stars Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam and Jeffrey Wright all give away much more intense and plausible performances, however. I hope that, one day, perhaps Hirschbiegel director's cut will be available and we get to see the film as it was initially intended: slow-brooding, uncanny and petrifying.
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