Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Host (live action movie), via Netflix

The Host is a science fiction movie based on Stephenie Meyer's book of the same title. I actually liked the book, even if the “love story” aspect of it often horrified me. The few things I'd heard about the movie hadn't been good, but I decided to give it a shot anyway.

I disliked Mel and Jared in the original book, and that dislike only became more pronounced while I was watching the movie. I didn't care about them, certainly not enough to want to watch them having sex only 11 minutes in.

The movie was often too cheesy to be as emotional as it wanted to be, and the acting sometimes made me cringe. I'm pretty sure I caught Mel's accent wandering a few times, and I absolutely hated Mel's cheesy voice-overs, of which there were a lot.

In my review of the book, I noted that the humans seemed far more awful than the souls. This was still true in the movie – it was the humans who threatened to hurt Wanderer, not the other way around, and it was the humans who conducted raids on the souls' peaceful “we'll give you anything you need, no questions asked” stores. However, the one violent Seeker was given so much screen-time that I think the peacefulness of the souls was somewhat de-emphasized.

Unfortunately, Wanderer had much less depth in the movie. Her history, experiences, and status as a peaceful soul teacher were, at best, only given brief mentions. I thought the movie also missed out on a wonderful opportunity to show flashbacks to the various amazing worlds Wanderer once lived on.

All in all, as brick-like and occasionally aggravating as it is, the original book is better. While the movie smooths out some of the book's more problematic elements (no unnecessary emphasis on how very young Wanderer's newest host looks and is!), it removes pretty much all of the most fascinating parts. The only character worth watching in this movie was maybe Jeb, Mel's uncle. Why is it that the older male characters are always the least annoying in all the movie adaptations of Meyer's books?

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