Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter Source:
Open Road Films ll
Stephenie Meyer & Andrew Niccol
Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
This is a fascinating story and it is just too bad that the content in the violence and sex categories are so much as to prevent us from awarding our Dove Seal to it as a family-friendly film.
Saoirse Ronan stars as Melanie, a young woman that is taken over by an alien presence and her body is its host. However, Melanie is protective of her younger brother, Jamie, and boyfriend Jared (Max Irons), and she fights to emerge within her body despite the alien presence abiding in her simultaneously. She wants to keep Jamie and Jared protected and Wanderer, the alien presence, dislikes the fact that Melanie is losing her identity and Wanderer struggles to do the right thing. Ultimately Wanderer and Melanie work together as Wanderer becomes sympathetic to the humans, especially to a young man named Ian (Jake Abel) that she likes. There are humorous moments in the film when before they start working together Melanie and Wanderer go back and forth with arguments. The aliens have taken over almost all of Earth's humans with a small resistance remaining.
In an interesting plot twist, the alien living in Melanie likes Ian, while Melanie likes Jared, so it becomes a bit of a love triangle, or maybe I should say a love square with four involved! With fine performances all around and an intelligently written script which focuses on the theme of love and kindness being two of the world's most powerful forces, it is to be commended. The cinematography, especially of the desert scenes, is awesome. However, due to the content listing as previously mentioned, we cannot award the movie our Dove "Family-Approved" Seal.
Content Description: Sex: A young couple are seen in bed together and have implied sex though they are unmarried; passionate kissing by a few couples. Language: G/OMG-4; H-6; P-1; D-1 Violence: A man is shot in the back of the head and blood is seen flying upwards; people shoot at one another; a man is found dead from being shot; a girl crashes through a window and falls a good distance and has bloody scrapes on her body; a boy accidentally cuts his leg with a scythe and is bleeding; a girl, knowing she can use a spray that heals, cuts her arm and forehead and it bleeds so she can get into a clinic for much needed medicine; man holds a knife to woman's throat but doesn't harm her; a few characters are punched; a woman smacks a young woman; a man shoves a girl against a wall, trying to kill her; a few car crashes; blood seen on a knife. Drugs: A drug is used to spray and quickly heal wounds. Nudity: Cleavage. Other: It's mentioned a father took his own life (he's seen with a gun) to keep aliens from looking for his family; when a man is surrounded by alien vehicles and knows a host will take over his and his friend's bodies, he runs his vehicle into a cement embankment and takes their own lives; it's said a girl used to shoplift.