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Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) is part of a group that’s rebelling against an alien species that has taken over the earth by inhabiting the bodies of humans, making them calm and peace-loving yet ultimately mindless citizens who do not challenge the status quo. When Melanie is captured while trying to lead the aliens away from finding her little brother, she’s inhabited by an alien called Wanderer. This being calmly begins searching Melanie’s thoughts for the location of ┬áthe impossible to find rebel hideout as per the direction of ┬áThe Seeker (Diane Kruger), a particularly vigilant member of the alien authority. Unfortunately for Wanderer, Melanie’s spirit won’t just fade away and soon the two are working together to find Melanie’s brother and true love Jared (Max Irons) as well as the human survivors’ camp that’s run by her uncle (William Hurt) and hidden deep in the desert. As the two beings learn to live with one another inside the same body, matters are complicated as Wanderer develops an interest in another handsome young survivor (Jake Abel) and as The Seeker refuses to give up her search for her lost “Host” – can the two races learn to live together as one? Melanie and Wanderer endeavour to find the solution that will save them all.

Director Andrew Niccol ( Gattaca ) does his best with material that doesn’t strive to be much more than the framework for a love quadrangle and perhaps, at its most ambitious, a clumsy swipe at those who are either for or against religion (could work in either instance)…but that’s reeeaaallly stretching it a bit. None of this is surprising coming from the author who gave us the world’s dullest “saga” about vampire-werewolf-human love (which some might argue also contained quite a few themes consistent with the Mormon doctrine – Meyer’s much talked about religious affiliation), it’s just unfortunate that the blind adoration that Meyer’s previous work inspired in people has resulted in yet another genuinely talented director being sidelined by source material that’s unimaginative, poorly constructed and just plain boring. Once again, we’re presented with a female protagonist who’s basically an empty vessel that exists solely to chase after her boyfriend. Other characters keep talking about what a fierce spirit Melanie has yet it only seems to surface when she’s searching for or protecting the men in her life – once she’s fulfilled all of her boy-related needs she retreats into a ball and waits quietly for another opportunity to arise. Let’s just say that type of behaviour doesn’t exactly speed the story along at the pace it needs go or keep the focus on the much more interesting politics that are afoot.

Is The Host Opening Weekend Worthy?

Fans of Stephenie Meyer’s past works will want to check this out for sure but at the overlong running time (it runs just under two hours but the glacial pace makes it feel like it’s much longer), this will test the patience of anyone who isn’t pre-diposed to lap up whatever dreck the Twi-hard-verse generates for our viewing pleasure. For those who rightfully enjoy watching the always excellent Saoirse Ronan and Diane Kruger, The Host will make a fine Friday night rental for you to mock in the comfort of your own home.

The Host Trailer

The Host Production Gallery