Carol and her best friend Ben (Daniel Craig), aided by Dr. Stephen Galeano (Jeffrey Wright), finally figure out what's happening and, unlike the Don Siegel or Phil Kaufman versions, even how to cure it. This opens the door to the inevitable happy ending that puts a warm and fuzzy face onto what used to be a rich tale of terror that leaves you afraid to leave the theater.
The filmmakers have used fake CNN reports (kind of like real CNN reports, but tailored specifically for this script by people who've obviously never written news copy) to weave in the subtext that, once everyone has given up his soul and become an alien version of himself, there'd be no more wars, hate and the like. The "news" reports show world peace breaking out simultaneously with the swallowing up of humanity, that as people give up their souls the world becomes a better place.
Is that the message they're sending? That we should all give up our individuality, our personal freedom, so the jihadists will love us? Of course, the jihadists are also giving up their souls, so at least it's a "lose-lose scenario."
Then at the end we realize that, with humanity's humanity saved, wars are on the menu again - and maybe that's not as bad a thing as being an "unpod."
The editing jumps all over the place, giving us cuts in the first few minutes that won't be seen until much later. It looks nice and arty, but at the expense of coherence.
Hell, this could have been a really great film. It's been done before, but that doesn't mean it can't be done well - as at least one earlier remake shows. But as mentioned, this movie is really kind of a mishmash, not really knowing whether it wants to be a thriller, a social commentary, a sci-fi flick, a horror flick, or a commercial for CNN.
The actors do a good job, and the production values are good as well, but the movie careens along so quickly you don't really have a chance to absorb anything and so you never really feel the walls closing in around you as mankind begins to lose its battle against the alien force. Perhaps there'd be a better two hour movie in here, but the 99 minutes rocket along like a space shuttle launch.
Which reminds us. How come the space shuttle was destroyed? It's hinted at that the astronauts did it to help prevent the alien scourge from reaching the earth, but how would splattering the shuttle over a huge area of civilian land help that? And does the shuttle have a self-destruct switch? Perhaps the splattering was done deliberately, to spread the spores as far as possible.
The Blu-ray disc is very good. The picture's sharp and clean and the colors, though muted, look good. We A/B'd the Blu-ray and the DVD, and are glad we got to review the Blu-ray.
Audio is Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround (also "conventional" Dolby Digital 5.1) and it's fine. We wish Warners had also included an uncompressed PCM track but what can you do?
Extras include a documentary "We've Been Snatched Before: Invasion in media history," which is more about alien invasions than it is about previous versions of the movie. There are also three short featurettes on the new film.
The Invasion, from Warner Home Entertainment
99 min. anamorphic widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround
Starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam and Jeffrey Wright
Produced by Joel Silver
Written by David Kajganich, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel