The Invasion (2007)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Alien Film, Psychological Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Horror  |   Release Date - Aug 17, 2007 (USA)  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - Australia , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Derek Armstrong

The Invasion must have sounded like a real prestige project to Warner Bros., featuring both Nicole Kidman, an Oscar winner, and Daniel Craig, a hot property set to become hotter as the new James Bond. Director Oliver Hirschbiegel had also been acclaimed for his work on the Hitler biopic Downfall. But this collaboration resulted in a remake without a pulse, which unintentionally mimics the deadened affect of the pod people. The film underwent rewrites (by the Wachowski brothers), a second director (James McTeigue), and a year-long shelving (from June 2006 to August 2007) -- all to end up with a mere 15 million dollars at the U.S. box office, an incomprehensibly low sum for a film of its scope and brand name, and two million dollars less than what Kidman made alone. In truth, its greatest sin is mediocrity. The Invasion has few visual effects and feels under-conceived at every turn, but what's there isn't going to inspire gales of laughter. It's just boring. In fact, excepting one car chase -- if you consider a speeding car covered with pod people a "chase" -- there aren't even any set pieces. Had it been shelved one more year, The Invasion would have drawn direct comparisons to M. Night Shyamalan's disastrous The Happening -- a great concept of a world gone crazy, with no execution. The one smart touch is Kidman's desperate attempt to stave off sleep, and that's primarily because she's talented enough to bring viewers in to her central irony: despite the adrenaline-producing threats to her life, her body craves rest. The Invasion avoids becoming laughable until the very end, when it hits us over the head by summarizing its themes in the dialogue -- namely, that circumstance can force good people to do terrible things. Well, who isn't capable of terrible things when possessed by aliens?