Never have the aliens in ‘Independence Day‘ looked so smart. If you thought Stephenie Meyer ruined the vampire genre with ‘Twilight’, wait ’til you see what she does to science fiction with ‘The Host’.
What a dopey race of aliens inhabit the world of ‘The Host’. These have got to be the dumbest beings that the universe has to offer. Let me see if I can get this straight: These aliens are described as kind, non-violent and completely benevolent. If that’s all true, why do they snatch up human beings? Why do they seek out a pocket of human resistance fighters? What does a race of supremely kind beings gain from forcefully oppressing an entire species? Nothing about this story makes sense. The aliens are walking contradictions – except when they aren’t inhabiting human bodies. Then, they’re simply glowing amoeba-like contradictions.
This alien race has somehow successfully taken over most of the world’s population. The glowing amoebas have latched onto everyone’s brains and are now controlling them. However, they don’t use weapons and have no real strategy for capturing humans that have yet to be inseminated. Here’s their invasion plan: Surround a human and hope it doesn’t run away. This is the only successful invasion of Earth that has relied almost completely on the invading force’s ability to grab. Seriously, that’s their only offensive weapon. They never pick up guns. They never fight. (Most aliens are knocked unconscious with a single blow.) They can only surround the targets and hope they don’t escape. It’s a completely nonsensical storyline. At least the ‘Independence Day’ aliens felt the need to bring spaceships, lasers and computers compatible with Macs.
Making matters even worse, the movie is dismally uncreative when it comes to science fiction. The most sci-fi this movie gets is dressing all the aliens in white and plating their vehicles with shiny, mirrored chrome.
In the end, the whole alien invasion is a smokescreen for a patented Stephenie Meyer teenage love triangle. Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is one of the last remaining humans left. She’ll do anything not to get caught by the Seekers (what they call the aliens). However, that dream is short-lived when she finds herself surrounded by grabby aliens, so she jumps out a window, hoping to keep her friends and family safe. The aliens inseminate her and suddenly Melanie’s body is taken over by an alien life form that calls itself Wanderer. But Melanie isn’t gone.
I was afraid that this would happen. Even though I really liked Saoirse Ronan in ‘Hanna‘ and ‘Atonement‘, she can’t pull off this ridiculous premise. Most of the movie’s interminable 125-minute runtime is devoted to Wanderer having internal conversations with Melanie. Really, the entire movie is her talking to herself. I’m not joking. It’s just as bad as it sounds, trust me.
Since this is a Stephenie Meyer story, the love triangle is eminent. Here, Wanderer and Melanie both fall for different guys. Again, the plot is just as terrible as it sounds. Two guys fight over the same girl, just like ‘Twilight‘, except that this girl is actually two girls. Scratch that. One girl, one galactic amoeba.
The movie inspired scoffs and awkward laughter from a crowd full of Meyer fanatics at my screening. Deadly serious moments were met with unintended chuckles. The movie is over two hours of teenagers pining for each other during one of the most mundane alien invasions ever conceived, and that’s about all there is to it.