‘The Host’ First Look — Can Stephanie Meyer’s Latest Movie Really Be the New ‘Twilight’?
Max Irons and Saoirse Ronan in 'The Host' (Photo: Alan Markfield/Open Road Films)
Team Edward vs. Team Jacob is so last year. With "Twilight" faded into the twilight, fans of the Stephanie Meyer sparkly vampires need a new fix. And Meyer herself is stepping up with what she hopes will fill that need in the form of the new sci-fi soap "The Host."
What's It About?
It's a dystopia and a, yes, sparkly race of aliens (they look a little like tinselly electric cat toys) have largely taken over the carnal bodies of the human race. Old-schoolers might be reminded of "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Tweeners might want to think of the aliens as iPods and humans as the docks.
So, what have those eco-friendly aliens brought to Earth? There's prosperity, health and no reality shows worth watching. But those pesky humans, with their desires and passions and loyalties, have mounted a minor resistance. Go figure.
An aggressive Seeker (Diane Kruger) charged with chasing down the few remaining free humans captures rebellious Melanie (Soairse Ronan). The Seeker then implants Melanie with a twinkly alien called Wanderer, soon to be nicknamed Wanda. The plan is to follow the implant-and-host back to the rebel base in classic "Take me to your leader" style.
Will Wanda supplant Melanie -- or will the pair unite to save the human race (and kiss a lot of pretty boys along the way)? Duh.
Photo: Open Road Films
Ronan, who earned an Oscar nomination for playing a wicked little sister in "Atonement," and played the dead daughter at the center of the underwhelming "The Lovely Bones," has a purity and simplicity that's very different from Kristen Stewart and her grunge goddess-turned-bloodsucker. Ronan is the kind and spunky girl-next-door would wouldn't mind babysitting in the post-apocalypse.
The actress has the unenviable task of having to play a human and an alien talking to each other inside a single head. While this is distracting in the early parts of the movie, it's amazing how the movie wins its audience (of teenage age girls and their moms) over by making that schizo relationship relatable.
Pretty Boys Is an Understatement
Knowing how to milk a good thing, Meyer replaces "Twilight's" Bella-Edward-Jacob triangle with a different version in "The Host." We have a pair of pretty boys -- Ian (Jake Abel) and Jared (Max "Son of Jeremy" Irons) -- competing, respectively, for the love of Wanda and Melanie.