(Review originally written at 6 April 2008)

This is a rather well made and good looking 4th, modern, updated, Invasion of the Body Snatchers version that however lacks the tension and mystery that made the first 2 earlier versions so great.

It's not as if the movie doesn't try but the end result is comparable to the 2005 version of "War of the Worlds". It's good looking all, fine acted, directed and whatever more but it doesn't know to grab you and suck you into the story. Because of this the movie remains mostly bland to watch.

The movie doesn't keep its mystery for very long. It's pretty obvious early on into the movie what is going on and it doesn't take a long time for the main characters to actually 'believe' and tries to fight the evil. This also already takes away some of the tension of the movie.

This movie didn't seemed like a logical next step for director Oliver Hirschbiegel, who had made the Hitler drama "Der Untergang" previously before this. This was also actually his first English language debut. but I must say he did a good job with this movie. The studio executives however though otherwise and brought in the Wachowski brothers for a rewrite and James McTeigue to direct some new scenes, after this movie already got first wrapped up in 2006. No doubt they added some more action and pace into the movie, which I must say wasn't a bit choice but it however also doesn't exactly make the movie any more tense. Who knows, perhaps the original Hirschbiegel was a whole lot more tense actually. Perhaps it focused more on the psychological and mysterious elements of the movie, of which the movie still shows some small tendencies.

You can also wonder if some of the 'modern' updates for this movie version were actually really needed. Besides mobile phones and text massaging, the movie also makes terrorist reference as if the movie also tried to make a statement, which in the end just doesn't really come through.

The lead is played by a female this time; Nicole Kidman, who doesn't do a bad job but also seems a bit lost at times. Daniel Craig's role is perhaps a bit too limited and perhaps the movie could had used some more prominently featured characters. The movie now instead only mostly focuses on Kidman and occasionally but not consistently Craig.

Wachtable enough but you can also easily do without this version.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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