Director Andrew Niccol was the man behind Gattaca, one of the best sci-fi films of the last 20 years, and the skilled writer behind Peter Weir’s The Truman Show. Here he's adapting a novel by Meyer, and there’s only so much he can do with the source material.

Then there's Ronan, so memorable as Briony Tallis in Joe Wright’s adaptation of the Ian McEwan novel Atonement. Meyer’s dialogue is several steps below McEwan’s, so the actress strains under her leaden lines in The Host. Intentionally funny remarks got expected laughs during a press screening of the film, but other Ronan utterances generated unwanted chuckles.

Two hours after it starts, The Host ends with a whimper. It doesn’t give us anything to think about, nor is it even mildly diverting. It takes over our lives for a short time, then, like the human bodies its alien protagonists use for their own purposes, leaves us feeling hollowed out and used up for no good purpose. Watching it, your eyes won't change color, but they’ll likely glaze over.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: “Oh, God”; “full of it”; “what the hell”; “sorry a-s”
  • Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: None
  • Sex/Nudity: Several scenes of passionate kissing; a character says to another, “Sleep with me”; Wanderer bathes, seen only from the shoulders up; characters have sex under the sheets, with the woman’s bra covering her breasts; a woman commands a man, “Kiss me like you want to get slapped!”
  • Violence/Crime: An unsuccessful suicide attempt; an off-screen suicide by gunshot; knife to the throat; a headbutt; a slap; machetes; guns and gunfire; punching and fist fights; a boy cuts his leg; man shot in the head, and his body is shown, with blood on the floor near his head; a woman is hit and attacked by a man; a gunshot to the shoulder; self-inflicted knife wounds
  • Religion/Morals: Under alien occupation, Earth is said to be at peace, with no hunger or violence; the environment is healed, and honesty, courtesy and kindness are practiced by all; aliens say they do not lie, and that they trust each other, to which Melanie says, “You guys take the fun out of everything”; a character exclaims, “Hallelujah!” Forgiveness offered

Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@hotmail.com.

Publication date: March 29, 2013