Saturday, October 13, 2007

Nic's 'Snatch' Not Quite Up To Scratch

The Invasion, Odeon Telford, Saturday October 13 2007, 1pm.

Why bother going to see a fourth screen adaptation of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers? Good question, and one which the makers of The Invasion (2007) seek to answer by placing it in the milieu of a post-Iraq America beset by a curious combination of paranoia and self-loathing, acutely agitated by the prospect of enemies within yet troubled by their own violent tendencies revealed as they defend through offence.

In fact, the film-makers busy themselves so much in justifying the remake in terms of topical relevance, referencing not just Iraq several times but also the break-up of the Soviet Bloc, the use of anti-depressants to flatline emotions and the near-pornographic fetish for 24/7 news saturation that other, equally crucial elements to make the film come alive are fatally neglected. Namely, there's an acute shortage of credible romance, thrills or suspense. The lack of chemistry between an often uncomfortable Nicole Kidman and a worryingly wooden Daniel Craig is worthy of a sci-fi investigation in itself, the tension never quite builds to anything you might call excitement and the action sequences barely rise above competent and fail at any stage to quicken the pulse.

Still, at least Nicole Kidman remains easy on the eye, and even though her blonde bob, bleached visage, pinched nose and heavily arched eyebrows make her so unrecognisable from the freckle-faced redhead who made such an impact in Dead Calm that it might suggest a bodysnatching exercise worthy of a thriller plot in itself, it's reassuring to know she still looks good running around in a range of tight-fitting tops whilst in deadly peril. Yet if it seems harsh in this day and age to criticise an action blockbuster for having too many ideas in its head to concentrate properly on the staple action dynamics, no thrills + no suspense = nobody paying at the box-office in this or any other known universe.

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