REVIEW: The Host: The Sci-Fi Twilight?

1 Apr

The Host, the recent young adult science fiction film, is based on the novel, Stephenie Meyer’s first attempt at writing science fiction. Wait. Come back. It wasn’t that bad.

Diane Kruger is in it!

the host, jake abel, max irons, Saoirse Ronan

I could just hear the imaginary Teams revving up with the two men on the posters… (image: wikimedia commons)

My Score: 4.5/10

Metacritic Score: 41%

See If: You’re a fan of the Twilight series. If you’re okay spending 2 hours for a love story that is on this side of creepy.

Pros: The love story is … well, one of them is slightly adorable. The setting of the film is incredible. Some of the shots are amazing – the landscape shots actually make me want to go out and explore that area. Simply beautiful.

Cons: That damn voice over. The romance square. Some of the dialogue. Did I mention who wrote the book it’s based on?

Should I see this?:  If you’re looking for a good movie, no. If you’re looking for a romance on the level of a Twilight film (no judgment. Sometimes terrible romances are fun), then try it out. It’s deemed Sci-Fi, but there’s a lot more romance, and the science fiction elements are done about as well as the supernatural ones in Twilight.

Because one of my many talents is getting into film screenings, I managed to hop into another one, hosted (haha, pun unintentional) by Sephora. And that was some incredible marketing. They got me into the store around 5:30 to get my screening pass (which allowed me prime seats when I did get into the theater), I got a promotional bag, and, since there was a few more hours to wait, why not I stay for the free make over? And since I looked so pretty, why don’t I buy some make up?

Brilliant.

Sephora

I felt manipulated… and wanted to buy a $50 dollar eye shadow kit so badly. (image: odmrp.com)

Sorry, but I’m also a business major as well as a film/tv freak. You have to let me ramble about marketing techniques when they slap me across the face.

But I bring up the screening because the people who managed to get into this one weren’t an average audience. No. These were some dedicated fans ready to slap anyone who insulted their favorite author.

I realized early on I was in enemy territory when Stephenie Meyer’s name popped across the screen and there was a chorus of squeals.

I settled back and prepared for the worst.

Synopsis:

The Host is a film where humanity has been wiped out. Humans are on the run from an alien species while the aliens take over their bodies in order to protect what is left of the Earth. Any humans that are left on Earth are hiding so that they too are not taken over.  Also? The only way to tell that people are aliens are their eyes, so humans walk around wearing sunglasses.

The host

Cause that’ll hide these eyes. …Right? Right?! (image: wegotthiscovered.com)

The film begins with a girl (Saoirse Ronan) running from people in white outfits. The girl has one speaking line, which I believe was, “Like hell,” and for some reason, I found that incredibly annoying. The girl then flings herself out of a window and although her head dents the ground, we discover that she is still alive “because she has the will to live.” I’m sorry. But if your head dents the ground, I’m pretty sure that the will to live isn’t enough to — oh wait. I forgot. Stephenie Meyer.

The Host, diane kruger, saoirse ronan

Seven Seekers and one human and they still lose her? (image: craveonline)

Anyway. So she is then implanted with an… uh… alien parasite who are called “Souls” (Souls. Really Stephenie? REALLY?), who wakes up and calls herself Wanderer. I suppose it’s helpful that we know her name, considering all the aliens in the film call themselves that. Goodie.

The woman, on this side of creepy, is called Seeker (Diane Kruger) and she is incredibly interested to hear about Wanderer’s host’s… memories, ie, the girl who jumped from the window. We discover that the girl was named Melanie, and she had an epic romance with a man/boy named Jared (Max Irons). Apparently he’s in his midtwenties, but it’s not specified. In fact, I have no idea how old Melanie was supposed to be. Huh.

Max Irons, The Host, saoirse ronan

They make out in the rain. A lot.

Here is where the movie gets annoying. If you’re okay with voice overs, you’ll be slightly okay with this. But you discover that Melanie actually has not died, but is still living on in Wanderer’s mind. I have no idea how Ronan managed to make herself sound incredibly annoying as a voice over and normal in average speech. Maybe it was because it was a voice over, but either way, you’re stuck with her jarring, unwitty dialogue as Melanie for the rest of the film.

And my god. The dialogue in this film was alright but if Melanie had a physical body, I would have walked into the screen and slapped her silly. She was annoying, to put it lightly.

Wanderer continues to try to discover Melanie’s memories and she finds out that Melanie has a brother who was hiding with Jared, and they were trying to reach somewhere in the desert. However, Melanie spends the entire time fighting against Wanderer’s mind invasion. When Seeker realizes that Melanie is probably too much for Wanderer to handle, Seeker informs Wanderer that she will be put into a new hosts body and that Seeker will then go into Melanie’s body to try to discover the information (that sounds…weird). Melanie then pleads with Wanderer to protect her and Wanderer agrees to escape, leading them on the adventure that propels the rest of the movie.

Saoirse Ronan, the host

I actually have nothing witty to say, but I loved this shot. (image: aintitcool)

Well, that’s a lie sorry. Leading them on the adventure that gets them to the place that propels the rest of the movie.

I don’t want to go too much into it, but essentially they discover a mountain range where Melanie’s uncle, aunt, and a bunch of others (include Jared and her younger brother) have been hiding out. Most of the camp wants Wanderer dead because she is, in fact, one of the enemy, but the uncle realizes that maybe the reason Wanderer hiked through the desert and almost died getting there was because Melanie is still fighting on inside her mind.

And then that propels the rest of the story of the camp trying to accept her, Wanderer falling in love with a boy from the camp, Ian (Jake Abel) from camp, and Melanie having to deal with her boyfriend/amazing lover Jared while not being able to …well, deal with him.

Jake abel, Saoirse Ronan

Ian (Jake Abel) and Wanderer/Melanie on an awkward date. …The landscape is really pretty?? (image: screencrush)

Oh yeah, and Seeker tries to have her killed, but that is second to all the ROMANCE. Obviously.

Characters:

Melanie is incredibly annoying. That is the nicest way I can say it. Anytime her voice over came on, I cringed and wanted to slap her. And it’s not saying that Saoirse Ronan did a bad job. As Wanderer, she was actually an intriguing character. Her growth from not understanding Earth and why humans are freaking out about her species to being able to accept what may happen to her was really quite interesting to watch. It was just dampened anytime Melanie had a snarky comment to add. I’m snarky and I thought Melanie’s snarkitude needed to take several seats.

saoirse Ronan, the host

With this riveting acting, I was surprised to learn that the actress has already been nominated for an Academy Award, A BAFTA, and a Golden Globe. Jeez… (image: amctheatres.com)

Max Irons as Jared was unique. He was obviously easy on the eyes, but his character did not grow. In fact, the two main love-bird characters were a flat as the paper Meyer wrote this tripe on. Sure, he had to get over the fact that his girlfriend has now become a victim to an alien species, but wow, does he get over that quickly. He goes from calling her a “thing” to protecting her to stomping off because he’s mad to wanting her protecting to telling Ian to back off to… ugh.

max irons, saoirse ronan, the host

If he looks so angry carrying her, he should have made someone else do it. Jeez. (image: edgecast)

To be honest, he was a better-looking, less creepy Edward. But with his introduction, he scores points in the creep column when he forces himself onto her via a kiss. He does that a lot, so my opinion of him died really quickly. Even if he is Jeremy Iron’s son.

Jake Abel as Ian was kind of adorable. True, I’m biased because I liked him on the television show Supernatural, but at least his character grew, albeit kind of strangely. He started off as not trusting Wanderer, because her race is what has turned his almost extinct, and slowly started to see the positive sides of her as a person. …Alien. Whatever. My only problem with his character was that Wanderer tells him that he is only interested in the host Melanie’s body, and if he saw her true form, he would be disgusted. Let’s just say that he sees the true form of the aliens and ends up with a very human girlfriend at the end. …Was that a lesson learned? Because he wasn’t disgusted BOOM she can stay human?

Diane Kruger as Seeker could have been fascinating, but they delayed her characterization by focusing too much on the romance. She has this obsession in catching Melanie and making her talk, but her obsession was a little too forced and we were informed of it a little too late.

Diane Kruger, the host

I sense Diane Kruger wondering why she did this part. (image: marieclaire)

There were a few other characters but they all had one-track minds. The uncle was super trusting, the brother was there to make Melanie seem loving, and the aunt was there to be the bitch. Whiiiiich I have huge problems about, but since the movie didn’t dwell to much on it, I won’t either.

I think that this film was interesting, to put it lightly. It wasn’t Twilight, which was a blessing in disguise. But it wasn’t good. True, some of the parts of the film made me laugh, and some made me cringe (anytime anyone kissed. The dramatic music. Aspects of the love square. The fact that there was a love square), but overall, I left the theater feeling like I hadn’t completely wasted my time.

Jake Abel, The Host, Saoirse Ronan

I actually thought they were cute. Sue me. (image: guim.com)

The only truly upsetting part was that they built this entire world that had such amazing potential to explore, if done right. The way the aliens were done was cheesy, but since the character Wanderer had been living thousands of years, it would have been nice to have expanded on that, or to have allowed the villain Seeker to flourish and …

Wait. I forgot. This was done by Stephanie Meyer.

I should just be grateful that there was no sparkling.

stephenie meyer, the host

Never forget. (image: thedailybeast)

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One Response to “REVIEW: The Host: The Sci-Fi Twilight?”

  1. twilight breaking dawn January 14, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    Hey Cutebookworm,
    On a similar note,, It was pretty good introduction to see yours blog. I actually enjoyed it. good job keep it up bye dude tc
    Thanks

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