Review: ‘The Host’ is slow, silly and soporific

March 28, 2013 • Entertainment

This film image released by Open Road Films shows Max Irons, left, and Saoirse Ronan in a scene from “The Host.” (AP Photo/Open Road Films, Alan Markfield)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There’s something about novelist Stephenie Meyer that induces formerly interesting directors to suddenly make films that are slow, silly and soporific. It happened consistently on “The Twilight Saga,” and it happens again on “The Host,” once-provocative writer-director Andrew Niccol’s adaptation of Meyer’s 600-plus-page post-Twilight novel that spent 26 weeks at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list beginning in 2008.

Aimed squarely at the same tweens who contributed so generously to the bank accounts of everyone who became associated with Meyer’s vampire franchise, this one swills in the same sort of thwarted Victorian-style romanticism while indulging a similar moonstruck vibe that can seemingly only be resolved in Meyer’s work by selfless female sacrifice. Not to be deterred, Meyer’s army of female fans surely will deliver a big opening for Open Road, but anything resembling Twilight numbers is a fantasy. Meyer intends to expand The Host into a trilogy, but the second book has yet to be published, so any further films in the series remain a long way off.

Once again applying her quaintly old-fashioned morality to her specialty in cross-species attraction, Meyer this time centers on a leading lady whose dual personality hinges on an “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”-like notion of advanced aliens having taken over the bodies and lives of more flawed Earthlings. Here, however, the invasion already has taken place, and the aliens essentially have won; only a few Login to read more

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