Dick De Jong
July 17, 2013
The movie, The Host, is based on Stephanie Meyer's best-selling novel about the human race inhabited by out of this world beings with lovely luminous flowing filaments.
This Occupy Mankind results in world peace, the end of hunger and pollution - and mesmeric translucent irises. On the downside, the identities of their human hosts are subjugated out of existence. Unless, a strong will and a true heart resists.
Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan), after eluding the Searchers for months, finally sacrifices her freedom to let her brother, Jamie, escape. Even after being occupied by the gentle glowing stranded Wanderer, Melanie refuses to cede full control of body and mind to her luminous lodger.
I didn't have any problem with the concept of this duality. It was just the implementation of this conceit that didn't work. Basically, we hear Melanie's voice in this internal debate with the Wanderer. Somehow, it never hit the right tenor for me.
Be that as it may, after a soul-searching struggle, Wanderer/Melanie head for the hills to reunite with brother and her hunky boyfriend Jared (Max Irons). Cherchez l'homme.
As the posters invoke, "Choose to Love." Indeed, once our heroine(s) are rescued by an outpost of non-hosting humans, the newly dubbed Wanda pairs up with her own boy toy, Ian (Jake Abel).
In this crazy geometry of relationships, instead of a love triangle, we end up with a Melanie/Jared and Ian/Wanda parallelogram.
I won't spoil how that is resolved.
Early on, I had my reservations about The Host, though I liked the performance of Diane Kruger as the tenacious Seeker, Lacey, who pursues Melanie is that oh-so-cool chrome plated Lotus Evora.
(As an aside, it's interesting to compare Kruger's Lacey to her portrayal of the dogged Sonya in the new FX TV series, The Bridge.)
But my doubts were assuaged once Melanie arrived at the mountainous caves run by her sage uncle Jeb (William Hurt).
Jeb and his elder sister Maggie (Frances Fisher) give the story a gravitas that was lacking with the hormonal teenagers.
The labyrinthine cave with its ingenious flowing wheat field and the surrounding landscape are almost worth the price of admission alone. Made all the better when enjoyed on this high resolution Blu-ray.
Even though, when it was released theatrically, The Host never seemed to spark the same Twilight-like passion that Pattison and Stewart kindled in the hearts and minds of hordes of adoring fans, I think the movie offers enough strong performances, along with its share of eye candy, to warrant a viewing from even those few who are not yet Meyer devotees.
Other than the Deleted Scenes, the only featurette is "Bringing The Host to Life," which you could bypass except that it offers a chance to hear Saoirse Ronan. She with those piercing blue eyes is building quite a resume (Atonement, The Lovely Bones, Hannah) for one who is still a teenager.
If you desire more in-depth background on The Host, listen to the voice over commentary by Author/Producer Stephenie Meyer, Screenwriter/Director Andrew Niccol, and Producer Nick Wechsler.
Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Frances Fisher, Jake Abel, Max Irons, Chandler Canterbury, Boyd Holbrook, Scott Lawrence and William Hurt
Length: 126 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English SDH, Spanish, French