Friday, September 7, 2007

Shaggy Dog Sci-Fi Remake

Truth is always stranger than fiction in Hollywood. Consider this, big gun producer Joel Silver hires young screenwriter David Kajganich (One of Variety’s Hottest Ten Screenwriters in 2006) and German wunderkind Oliver Hirschbiegel (director of the 2004 Hitler’s-last-days Downfall) to whip up a contempo strange brew for the fourth movie go round of Jack Finney’s sci-fi novel Invasion of the Body Snatchers, they complete the task, and Big Joel brings in the Waschowski brothers (The Matrix) and their guy James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) to write and direct some additional scenes to punch up the movie, and to top things off, decides, in genius fashion, to rename it Invasion. The results are god awful, a shaggy dog of a film that’s part political diatribe, part tense-and-nervous sci-fi, and part action-jackson. One of the films conceits that actually works rip-roaringly well is that ice princess Nicole Kidman begins the movie as a near-zombie, coldy-moldy, simply going through her daily motions, and as the alien spores turn everyone else into an unemotional drone she becomes more nerved-up and tattered around the edges, meaning even her perpetually perfect hair becomes less so. The hair thang is unarguably cool, but not enough to coax an audience to see this failed clash of perspectives and intent.

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