North Texas Daily

Movie review: “The Host” is mindless and fun

Movie review: “The Host” is mindless and fun

March 29
09:40 2013

Preston Barta

Film Critic

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Stephenie Meyer’s latest novel-turned-movie, “The Host,” serves as another teen-romance to fish in the female demographic and climb atop the love/hate throne of “Twilight.” Critics nationwide have been tearing this film a new one due to its familiar story that is supplanted into a new setting. While “The Host” has problems aplenty, the result is ultimately an enjoyable piece of popcorn entertainment.

Based some time in the near future, “The Host” tells the story of alien parasites called Souls that are on the hunt for the remaining humans left on Earth. Like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978), these otherworldly creatures assume their host’s soul and erase their memories. With the human population downsizing rapidly, hope for mankind seems unpromising.

Enter Melanie Stryder (a towering Saoirse Ronan), a human adolescent who will risk anything to keep her loved ones safe. However, things get spicy when she is taken and becomes host to a Soul named Wanderer. In turn, the dual intellects must share one body. Determined to keep her promises, Stryder seeks to protect her friends and family, dragging Wanderer along for the ride.

Despite its unconvincing dialogue, cheesy love sequences – kissing in the rain – and jagged pace, “The Host” is a rather original film about survival, perseverance, love and identity. While it could have been miles better if the story had dipped into a darker environment, it features breathtaking scenery, stunning costumes and music, along with superior performances, especially Ronan (“Hanna,” 2011).

Audiences who are dubious about the film because it’s associated with Meyer should not worry because writer-director Niccol, who brought us intriguing science-fiction films such as “Gattaca” (1997) and “In Time” (2011), makes “The Host” a far more interesting movie than “Twilight.”

“The Host” is a fun and harmless date movie. Gentlemen may even walk away surprised with their manhood still intact. It’s a well-rounded film that keeps its audience engaged, and sometimes that’s all a movie needs to do.

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