The Host: a genuinely dreadful movie

the-host

It’s rare that I see a film as patently awful as The Host. I mean, sure, I’ve recently stomached the likes of Identity Thief and Red Dawn, but this latest film from Twilight author Stephenie Meyer may well go down as one of the worst I’ve ever seen. A travesty really, because I genuinely liked the book of the same name.

The story involves Alien squiggly bits that, after an interstellar journey, get implanted into the necks of the human race, resulting in glowing eyes and a fascination with shiny metal vehicles. A ragtag band of humans who exhibit a fondness of making out in the rain, yet who are chaste enough to avoid hitting the proverbial first base, are shown in a kind of existential battle. Hiding out in a dormant volcano, we see them going on daring missions, stealing supplies, that kind of thing.

But before that happens, there’s a bit where Saoirse Ronan wanders through the desert in the most tedious runaway that may ever have been filmed. Oh, and there’s also this part where we realize that our heroine has held on to the former memories of her, um, host, and the two of them have conversations that lack the dramatic sophistication we see in the book version.

As you can probably tell, my heart really just isn’t in this review. Quite frankly, The Host is just boring to write about as it is to watch.

The dreary cast makes it difficult to tell the 20-something chiseled boys from one another, and the likes of William Hurt makes one feel kind of sad that this is what he’s ended up doing.

In all honesty, The Host is the eye gouging, can’t-get-the-hours-back-of-your-life kind of bad that, if there’s any justice, will quickly disappear from your local screen, soon to be forgotten by all but those masochistic few who actually stomach the entire running time.

Definitely one to avoid.

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Breaking Dawn Part 2: Twilight at its most tolerable

Breaking-dawn-part-2-sneak-preview

Doomsday for Twi-hards has come and gone – the Twilight saga has ended, if not on a high, then at least on a considerably better note than it began.

Converted into a bloodsucker after a rather brutal childbirth in the previous film, our protagonist Bella (Kristen Stewart) is now faster, stronger and hungrier than she’s ever been, and even Edward (Robert Pattinson) has trouble keeping up with her.

No sooner than they’ve settled into their new home and enjoyed a few passionate moments, Edward and Bella learn that the Volturi, that feared clan of vampire law-keepers, is headed their way to pick a fight. Turns out the Volturi are convinced Bella’s daughter, Renesmee, is an “immortal child” and therefore must be immediately killed.

Truth is, since the girl was conceived and delivered while Bella was still human, she’s very much mortal, but that won’t stop the Volturi using the misunderstanding to rid themselves of a potential rival coven – and recruiting some talented individuals while their at it.

So the Cullens call in favours across the globe, assembling a force to face the oncoming Volturi army. Good luck trying to keep awake as you’re introduced to these dozen-or-so friends, each with a special power or gift to be explained and suitably demonstrated.

Creepiest of the lot is little Renesmee herself, the root cause of all the problems in this film. The kid (Mackenzie Foy) ages rapidly, and has this strange gift where she can touch your face with her palm and teleport her back-story to you – a trick her shameless parents encourage her to do with pretty much everyone she meets.

Almost all the characters in this film are lacking in some way. Though Kristen Stewart appears a little less morose in this film than she usually does, Edward as a character is still as stiff.

In fact, the only truly enjoyable thing in this film, apart from Taylor Lautner taking his shirt off once again, is the delicious overacting by Michael Sheen as Aro, leader of the Volturi, who offers up such a deliberately hammy performance it’s hard not to laugh out loud.

The climatic battle scenes at the end do manage to deliver some surprisingly gory thrills also – but it’s an unfortunate case of too little too late. Though a marked improvement from the previous Twilight instalments, Breaking Dawn Part 2 leaves a lot to be desired.

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