This review contains spoilers and it will most definitely offend those dedicated Meyer fans. So if you like Meyer, keep away because I didn’t hold back what so ever.
Oh the joy of watching a bad movie that brings back all the motivation I had lost for weeks because it is so cheesy that it screams to be written about. I’ll just take a moment to enjoy this warm feeling. Oh yeah, yeah, I feel it, yes, mmm that’s good! Where was I? Oh yes, before I gather my negative thoughts about The Host, there are a lot, I do confess that I’m glad that it was as idiotic as it was because it reminded me that I love writing about movies… especially those I don’t like.
Now, one might think that I disliked the movie even before I saw it because it’s based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer (in case you have been living under a rock, that lady is the mother of Twilight!) and that’s probably right. I knew it wasn’t going to be good in terms of the plot but hey, a lot of mediocre plots can be saved by a better screenplay, great acting and cinematography. That was not the case with The Host, to say at least, I think Stephenie Meyer just managed to suck out some of Saoirse Ronan’s talent – so let’s take a moment of silence….
The Host is a story about aliens invading human bodies and giving them shiny (not to say sparkly) eyes that will distinguish them from regular unhosted people. That is explained by a short man-narrated clip with space and alien-faces that basically sets up the whole back story – how original. Then we see Melanie (Saoirse Ronan), a human on the run, jumping out of a window in order to kill herself because dead people can’t be used as hosts – she of course survives. Doesn’t matter that she cracked open the pavement and had no broken bones, no, I mean, why would you want to explain that in the movie? That’s ridiculous, a human jumping out of a window and surviving with just scratches is as normal as sparkly vampires.
After Melanie is hosted, The Wanderer appears as a new Melanie or in this case, in Melanie’s body but as a new character. But oh wait, Melanie is still alive and it’s a classic case of double personality – two girls in one body with sparkly eyes. And enter the not so beloved voice over! Out of all the cheesy things I saw in those 2 long hours, I think the voice over was the hardest to handle and there was a lot of it throughout the movie. It made it so cheap and campy, not to mention the fact that it brought down the talent of Ronan who I still remember from movies such as The Atonement and Hanna. She was amazing in both, especially Hanna, and now this.. oh girl, you don’t need a franchise to keep up with the young Hollywood, just do your thing!
Anyway, Melanie is almost controlling The Wanderer (later named Wanda cause Meyer likes wordplay) by the time they find the secret hiding place of a group of people that has Melanie’s brother, boyfriend (Max Irons) and of course some other hot blond dude (Jake Abel) with great deal of hair product. When the love triangle was created I literally rolled my eyes. I get it, The Host is a young adult book but can the authors just once do something different than the oh-so-predictable-love-triangle.. make the leading character doubt her sexuality and go lesbian or something! Plus, that did not stop there, Ronan was pretty much going from one dude to another to make out and there was no chemistry what so ever. Though I do think that a lot of it had to do with the way the story was presented, it was a really hasty relationship that never really went that extra mile to being something special. Not to mention the fact that poor Ronan and Irons had to make out in the rain twice just so they could get wet.
All this PDA took place while The Seeker (Diane Kruger) was trying to locate their secret hiding place – this situation had no climax, it was linear and boring To be completely honest, the whole movie didn’t have any moment of excitement or thrill what so ever. I mean the direction was all wrong, there was a lot of mushy moments but there wasn’t anything to balance it and it just kept going cheesier and cheesier. Even the end, gosh, I don’t even want to discuss the ending plus the ending-on-top-of-the-ending situation that kind of created a sequel possibility – please don’t, somebody, please listen to me, no sequel!! The Host doesn’t offer anything that could lead to a sequel, even the visuals weren’t as strong as one would expect. Yes, there were the alien-soul-things that looked kind of cool but I’m saying this because I want to justify me actually getting through with this movie. I was doing it for the wiggly-aliens that I saw twice – once in the beginning and once in the end.
Eventually, while there a lot of other things that I could write about, bad things, cheesy things and even the rest of the acting that was destined to be doomed together with Ronan’s performance, I must put an end to it now. To sum this review up, don’t watch The Host, there’s nothing you can get from it that will make your day better. Even Ronan’s fans should stay away and re-watch Hanna or something. There aren’t any memorable moments, there’s not even a great musically enhanced adventure or action scene (though those are the genres mentioned in IMDb), just mushy teen-romance with no chemistry. Now as I’ve gotten all of that off my chest, there’s one nice thing I want to dedicated to all those Stephenie Meyer fans – she’s no talented lady but I’ll say this, I envy the fact that she continues to earn money by making bread from shit.
It becomes even sadder to know that the movie is full of teen angst and love triangles when it was alledgedly meant as an adult book. Its even shelved in adult fiction. Thanks for justifying my need to miss this one.
ADULT!? You kidding me right? Young adult all the way for sure and not even a good one.. as an adult film.. my god!
I wish I were kidding. Some bad movies make you appreciate the good ones, but then you get the ones that are so bad that no one should see them.
Indeed, but Ronan does her best and now I appreciate her performance in Hanna so so so much more!
Good review Ray. This one was just a bore and sort of felt like a waste of my precious time and money. Oh well. It’s what I get for being a movie nerd.
Waste of money indeed.. but I think there’s something special about those movies that waste our time, they make us appreciate the good movies even more. 🙂
That warning at the top of your review made me want to read it even more! I hate on Meyer’s work quite a bit. It’s sad that someone as talented as Soairse Ronan actually signed on for this. She’s so much better than that.
You’re not the only one who hates it, I’m 100% with you. And indeed, I feel so immensely sorry for Ronan because she could have done indie and great movies and slowly become extremely famous without a franchise. Not everybody can be as lucky as Lawrence.. And yes, I like THG because it is made with such a different kind of vibe than other young adult movies.
Oh I’m with you. I loved THG. After seeing the first film I went out and read all three books.
I read the books before.. it added a lot of context but it would still have been a good movie.
Man this movie was painful. It reminded me so much of the Steve Martin comedy ‘All of Me’
Painful indeed.. and I don’t think I’ve seen the Martin movie. I’m guessing I never will.
Haha! This review is so awesome! “make the leading character doubt her sexuality and go lesbian or something” hahaha. But so true, this movie was terrible and I was laughing pretty much the whole time at how RIDICULOUS it is.
I was hoping to laugh at the fact that the ridiculousness but sadly, it was too much for me to even laugh at it. Hah. And lesbian lead would have made it a bit shocking.
Haha making bread from shit xD
I was thinking it was too harsh and then I was like, well, it’s the truth, I speak the truth. 😀
I tried to read two of her books and they are just awful haha 😀
I read Twilight.. and next to my heavy set school texts it was a light read but nothing special.
It’s like the food in the Walking Dead, nobody ever farms yet there’s always plenty of food
Well they eat canned stuff so that can last 6 years give or take
Well don’t get me started on feminine products! 😀
Well, your review of it was fun at least. 😀
Something good came out of it after all! 😉
Glad to see that this brought back your motivation – something good came of it then 😀
Indeed but who knows for how long. :/
Well I’m hoping for a long time 🙂
Incidentally, Max Irons drinks at the bar I DJ in
No incidence, faith!.. most likely benefiting me.
Yes I will certainly be avoiding. Shame as I thought the idea had potential.
I have realized that many young adult (though somebody commented it to be adult I’m sticking with young adult) stories have great promise in terms of the story. Like, the idea is there but the execution is just sloppy and in this case it has transferred to the movie.
Agree w/ you here 100%, especially the “no chemistry” part. Just absolutely appalling acting all around, even from the people who clearly aren’t bad actors by the other work they’ve done. Great review 🙂
Just goes to show how the story/screenplay effects the talented actors.