Movie Review : The Host (2013)

Directed by : Andrew Niccol
Starring : Saoirse Ronan, Jake Abel, Max Iron
From a book by : Stephenie Meyer

It starts with Earth after it has been taken over by an alien parasite species called “souls” that inhabit humans and take over their bodies. A human girl, Melanie, is captured and implanted with a soul called Wanderer. Melanie doesn’t give up without a fight though, refusing to let Wanderer, or Wanda, completely take over, causing the two of them to co-inhabit one body and fight for control of it as Melanie attempts to reunite with her brother and her boyfriend. In the process, Wanda sees that humans have thoughts and feelings and begins to empathize with them. She also falls in love with a guy, played by Jake Abel.

Because of her Twilight series made a lot of money, SMeyer's other book called The Host is turned into a movie as well in hope it would be bomb like Twilight. For those who don't know, The Host is a book that won Delete Key Award for The Worst Book of The Year in 2009, so I guess you already know the quality of it. Well, the name of the author actually gives you a glimpse already about the quality of the story, character development and such.

The book is claimed to be an "Adult Science Fiction" book as well as when the buzz of the movie comes out, it is called "An Adult Sci-Fi Tale". However, the reality is not the same. The PG-13 rate, the description of the characters (high school students) and another triangle teen romance movie already gives a warning about the shallow content of both the movie and the books. Since when an "adult" is rated as PG-13 and starred high school students?? If you want to see a good ADULT book, go with JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy. Maybe it will not suit your taste, but at least that's what we call an ADULT book. A book with a heavy complicated plot and matters, realistic wild characters, possible strong words and still well-written.

What amuse me is the defends from SMeyer's fans. They said something like "It's different that Twilight, when did the love interest tries to kill the main character like in The Host?" "It's two souls in a body and being loved by two guys" "It's alien, not vampire-werewolf, so it's not like Twilight"

What's so different with Edward who wanted to kill/eat Bella? What's so different with Bella/Nessie who were in same body and being loved by two guys? It's maybe about alien, but it's still teen romance with love triangle and shitty ending in it. So? it's still like Twilight. SMeyer has been known for not having enough imagination to create something new.

Okay, since I read books, follow movies and such I didn't really surprise when The Host was announced to be made as a movie. What surprise me is that Saoirse Ronan actually agreed to star in this movie. She's an Oscar Nominee actress! Her performance is decent here, not her usual good ones. I blame the source material for it. Funny enough, The Host book is actually more readable than The Twilight books, yet the movie is not. It's more readable probably because we don't need to read the over description Edward's beauty, Alice clothes, empty heart, etc.

In the movie, we could hear Melanie’s thoughts that always appears in every five seconds, it’s tiring having to listen to that girl have conversations with herself for half the film, probably more, I didn't count it. I don't mind something like this IF those conversations added anything to the story. However, more than half of the lines Melanie says are just the simplest words ever said. The lines are so repetitive (SMeyer's style) with "No" "Yes" "Listen!" and it isn't Smeyer if she doesn't have cheesy lines in her books and movies.

Look at these most cheesiest lines in the movie :

"It's not really me you like, it's this body" 

 "I'm still of two minds." 

 "Kiss me like you want to get slapped." (the worst!!)

Did I say that SMeyer has been know to not having enough imagination? 

Well another proof is this scene is so much like Eclipse when Bella kissed Jacob to determine which one she loved more. The scene which is Saoirse Ronan is kissed by Max Irons (Jeremy's son) and Jake Abel in quick succession in a bid to identify who they are kissing: the girl or the alien who has taken over her body. 

Not only that, the aliens are described as very intelligent, amazing and such. They manage to destroy human's souls and make the body theirs, they have alien's cars, and everything, yet despite those description, they cannot even find a better name for themselves. Their name is just "what-they-do" name, their description of jobs. 

They wander : The Wanderer 
They seek : The Seeker
They heal : The Healer 

Can they make a better name with that amazing brains of theirs?

Melanie goes to this "rebel camp" and she finds her boyfriend. The "rebel camp" was led by her Uncle, played by Hurt. This rebel camp is very boring and uneeded. Mainly because nothing is going on in this supposedly "rebel camp". The dozen or so human there just live like normal human just in different lace with alternative tools. Never once, they sat and talk about a plan to destroy the aliens or whatever. They just wait and wait that until the end of the movie, there's no use to have this "rebel camp".

To call The Host a sci-fi film is a BIG lie.

I am a big fans of sci-fi movies with Christopher Nolan's Inception as my number 1, then Blade Runner, Alien and Avatar for the next numbers. Look at Avatar, the re-make of Pocahontas. It has technology, blue-alien people with culture. Look at Alien, the alien is described really wonderfully with how they have eggs and such.
In The Host, the sci-fi elements are hardly touched on. For a film where the main character is occupied by a 1000 year old alien, there’s nothing we know about the alien. We aren't informed about the aliens’ past, their motives, their planet, how they are organized and how they function. The alien inside Melanie's body doesn't tell us anything. It comes out as if the alien itself is not an alien from somewhere out there. It's just like an imagination voice of the main character herself. That's because of the lack information given by the alien who doesn't even know its weakness. There's no science thing except for the alien, crystal-like thing that consists of The Souls, healing thingy, if they are even related to science here.

Big massive hole :

Somehow the humans live in a hollowed-out dormant volcano. They’ve built tunnels in this cave and run electrical lighting throughout. There’s also a massive mirror structure that pokes through the top, which allows them light to plant giant fields of wheat inside. The humans also have two massive cargo trucks that they use to get supplies with another uncreative name "Store".

Now, think about is!! How a dozen or so humans in rags managed to build the mirror structure? Where they get their gas to drive from the middle of the desert into whatever town they do probably around 30 miles away? How the supposedly smart aliens manage to not notice these giant trucks rolling out of the desert, or follow up on missing persons that the humans kidnap?

So, we get a completely mindless stupid dull film that causes people to doze off.

Despite the dreadful things in this movie, we get some good things too. William Hurt is good as the elder resistance fighter, and Diane Kruger give us a good watchable performance as the “Seeker”,and lastly Ronan who gives us a decent performance. 

If you're truly someone who loves a good movie yet don't expect anything good in this one. If you're SMeyer's fans or Twitards, then you will enjoying this since it doesn't need brain to watch it just like everything else brand Stephenie Meyer. It is a mostly empty, dull and underwhelming genre re-hash.

I really hope it will do poor in box office so they will not make any sequel.

I give this movie : D
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