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The Invasion

Release Date: August 17, 2007
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Movie of the Day for Sunday, July 1, 2007
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Hey, Dr. Handsome. I hear you look all buff under that coat.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
202/214 Max Braden Except for one non-sci-fi home invasion scene, this isn't scary. The editing ruins the movie. Even Jeffrey Wright seems to phone it in.

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The Invasion is one of the most troubled productions in recent memory. The film has accomplished a rare feat in movies these days. After principal shooting had finished, a new writer and director were brought on-board. Suffice it to say that this is not a good sign. This is strange given the A-list talent on-board for the project. The Warner Bros. production stars the most popular actress in the world today, Nicole Kidman, as well as the reigning James Bond, Daniel Craig. Despite their presence, the studio has deemed the $50 million production to be a complete disaster. So, they have tried again with bigger Hollywood names. Out are first time writer Kajganich and German director Oliver Hirschbiegel (Das Experiment). In for reshoots are the legendary Wachowski Brothers as script doctors and their buddy, director James McTeigue. This combo worked well for the studio on V for Vendetta, so it’s understandable why they would be given first crack at salvaging a seemingly doomed project.

As you have probably inferred from the title, The Invasion is a re-make of the 1956 science-fiction classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This is the third such re-imagining over the past 30 years. The most recent was a 1993 version called Body Snatched that starred Gabrielle Anwar, who was (believe it or not) hot at the time due to her head-turning performance in Scent of a Woman. Also co-starring was Forrest Whitaker, whose career has gone quite a bit better in recent years than Anwar’s. Hang in there, Gabby! Anyway, the point is that once a decade, someone gets the bright idea to re-make the movie, generally using some of governmental allegory as the main theme. The results have always been the same. The modern update is met with mediocre reception then quickly forgotten, while the original continues to stand tall. This is presumably why Warner Bros. went all out with the casting. They wanted to make The Invasion stand out as a big budget summer tentpole release. In hindsight, they probably should have spent more time on the script before principal photography but what’s done is done. As far as saving throws go, team Wachowski is a nice play.

This version of body snatching involves a space shuttle crash, an airborne infection caused by alien mutation, and extra-terrestial paranoia. More than anything else, the story right now is $10 million worth of re-shoots and a crashed Jaguar when Nicole Kidman chose not to use a stunt double, then did her Talladega Nights impression. A master marketing campaign might save The Invasion, but there isn't much good news about it thus far. (David Mumpower/BOP)


Vital statistics for The Invasion
Main Cast Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam
Supporting Cast Malin Akerman
Director Oliver Hirschbiegel
Screenwriter David Kajganich
Distributor Warner Bros.
Official Site http://www.theinvasionmovie.com/
Rating PG-13
Screen Count 2,776
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture


     


 
 

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