Max Iron and Saoirse Ronan star in <em>The Host</em>.

Max Iron and Saoirse Ronan star in The Host.

The Host

Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, and Max Irons star in a film written by Andrew Niccol, based on the novel by Stephanie Meyers, and directed by Niccol.

Saoirse Ronan, who has been wowing audiences since she was eight-years-old (Atonement, Hanna) is richly talented and bundled with charisma, but she’s nowhere near good enough to save this bizarre exercise; it’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers turned into schizophrenic love triangles. Seems that in the not-too-distant future — though Earth’s population seems to have magically dwindled — an alien host that looks like a glow-y cute undersea creature starts possessing humans and turning them into peaceful collectivists. In other words, finishing what the Tea Party believes Obama wants to do. Turns out, though, some humans find it not futile to resist.

Maybe it’s a trite theme at this point — evil soulless aliens versus flawed emotional humans — but The Host, which was written by Twilight author Stephanie Meyer, tries to wriggle out of the cliché by making its main character possessed and dispossessed at the same time. The alien named Wanderer, or Wanda, isn’t strong enough to overwhelm the earth girl Melanie, both who cohabitate in Ronan’s character’s body. Meanwhile, two hunky earth boys fall in love with the separate entities. This being a variation on the Twilight fantasy, there’s a lot of heavy breathing and no sex. (And Ronan is nowhere near as good as Gollum was at arguing with his own schizo half.) By the time the story reaches its nicely unexpected climax, we are worn out with the useless frustrations of a Mormon reverse guilt trip: two men wanting to marry the same woman equals crazy time.

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