THE INVASION (WB, 2007) D: Oliver Hirschbiegel, w/ Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig. Rating: NN; DVD package: NN
A virus from outer space lands and infects people the way viruses usually do - think snot - turning them into not-quite-humans hellbent on infecting everyone else. Nicole Kidman is a psychiatrist on the run with her young son, whose blood may hold the key to a cure.
Meanwhile, in the explaining-of doc that’s the high point of the nearly content-free extras, someone lectures us on how this is an allegory for our fear of unknown diseases. Right. Disease, an allegory for disease. Somebody send these clowns a dictionary.
In fact, one of the characters lays out the message at about 25 minutes, in a conversation that touches on evolution. Humanity, he says, won’t be rid of war and other unpleasantness until humans cease to be human. Sure enough, not too much later, peace is breaking out all over, thanks to the infectees.
So, clearly the infectees are an evolutionary advance. Equally clearly, they’re not the soulless pod people of the earlier and much scarier versions (Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, 1956, 1978).
These people still have emotion and individuality, and their drive to kill Kidman’s kid is merely a case of Darwinian inter-species competition.
Obviously, then, the movie is about the fear of evolution, and logically we should be rooting for the invaders, not Kidman. Which is easy to do, though it doesn’t improve the movie. She sleepwalks through the psychiatrist role and has zero rapport with Daniel Craig, the nominal love interest, and the kid (a coy Jackson Bond) she’s supposed to love above all else.
Director Oliver Hirschbiegel seems to know little about coherent cutting style and story logic. On the other hand, his wildly inappropriate big action-movie finale works just fine on its own terms.
Extras Two making-of docs, explaining-of doc, deleted scenes. Widescreen. English, French, Spanish audio and subtitles.