Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    The Invasion Movie Review
    From Disturbia to Hostel: Part II to Lindsay Lohan’s disaster I Know Who Killed Me—suspense movies are not having the best luck in 2007. In addition, whenever a suspense film is mixed with social commentary it demands the viewer to take the story even more seriously, which can sometimes be the biggest flaw. A perfect example is The Invasion, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, which is a remake of 1956’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers. However, The Invasion was more evading a good plotline, which was magnified by the always vague and robotox-ed Nicole Kidman.

    The Invasion is the story of an alien force/disease that is transforming the overworked people of D.C. into emotionless drones who stare into space with no soul…perfect role for Nicole Kidman. This “disease” is covered up as a case of the flu by the CDC, but when violent husbands are no longer beating their wives and children are being little demon-seeds—surely something is wrong.

    Nicole Kidman is Carol Bennell, a drug dealer—oops, sorry! A psychiatrist who dopes her patients up with endless supplies of meds with the hopes they won’t have too many of their coo-coo for the coco puff moments…get the irony? Carol is the equivalent of this alien disease, she makes everyone into drones with her pills…what a plot twist!

    When Miss Carol finds out that she is next to turn into a non-emotional, stiff, plastic actress – I mean, person! She fights back with one facial expression at a time to save herself and her son, played by Jackson Bond. I was mesmerized how Bond’s ten-year old face can make more facial movements than Kidman’s entire forehead!

    Chaos ensues as Barbie-esque Kidman skedaddles around D.C., fighting off the diseased, looking for a cure, popping pills and chugging Mountain Dew to stay awake (if you take a little nap the disease infects you). The Invasion could have easily been a Lifetime movie with the title Not Without My Son: The Carol Bennell Story.

    Okay, maybe I’m being too hard on the film, it wasn’t absolutely terrible.
    Plus, the film had some production problems, it took over two years to reach completion and was also reshot...two years? Reshoots? Who produced this film—Lauryn Hill?

    Regardless of the journey to make the film, The Invasion would have been more impactful if it was 1987 versus 2007. For example, the film reaches to take a political shift with running CNN footage and the hypocrisies of the government. After legendary movies like Outbreak and 28 Days Later a potentially good sci-fi horror flick transforms into a trite, predictable invasion of Hollywood trying to capitalize on the same storyline.

    The Invasion is not a total bore, as long as you lower your expectations to USA television network standards. There is enough choppy cut and edits to jump in your seat, great car chase scenes, uncountable flashbacks and a flock of evil little children that give the Children of the Corn a hot battle. I particularly loved when wholesome Kidman knocked one of the children right in the head!

    The “infected” are the biggest cackles with actors walking around as “emotionless”. The funniest moments are when the black actors portray emotionless—seeing Kidman’s loc-headed secretary acting as if she has no soul was like watching Gayle King look at a picture of Oprah and not get moist—it just wouldn’t happen! We also get quick glimpses of soulless D.C. thugs, which I found particularly amusing…many of them had the same facial expressions of our favorite barebacking porn stars!

    Forgive me, but I have to rant on Nicole Kidman’s face. Kidman is the “ideal” of beauty across the globe; however, I did not see one facial muscle in the entire film. It was as if she was one of those pictures on Conan O’Brien with just the lips moving!

    Do I recommend seeing The Invasion? There are moments of suspense, but once the films tries to get Discovery Channel-ish it completely falls apart. However, If you’re not paying then go see The Invasion with some friends, get loud in the theatre, feel free to answer your cell phone a few times, send a few texts and you’ll probably enjoy it. The most fun is leaving theatre and acting like you’re emotionless while walking the streets—if you forget how, just buy any of Nicole Kidman’s DVDs.

    ** ½ stars

    The Invasion hits theatres nationwide tomorrow, August 17th

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 10 comments

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