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Movie Review: TENET

movie review by David Blackwell

RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

STARRING Nicole Kidman (Dr. Carol Bennell), Daniel Craig (Ben Driscoll), Jeremy Northam (Tucker Kaufman), Jackson Bond (Oliver), Jeffrey Wright (Dr. Stephem Galeno), Veronica Cartwright (Wendy Lenk), Roger Rees (Yorish)

WRITTEN by Dave Kajganich (screenplay), Jack Finney (novel)
DIRECTED by Oliver Hirschbiegel

STUDIO: Warner Brothers Pictures/ Village Roadshow Pictures/ Vertigo Entertainment/ Silver Pictures/ Oliver Pictures Inc.
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 8-17-2007

In the tradition of many Hollywood films, remakes are a fact of life. THE INVASION marks the fourth film adaptation of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers novel (written by Jack Finney). The first adaptation was a metaphor for the cold War while the second one was an update to reflect the 1970s. The third one was entertaining enough and is the weakest of the various versions. THE INVASION amps things up and reflects today's climate.

What if you woke up to find the people you knew were different and showed no emotion? Everyone start to become like each other as an alien virus starts infecting people after the space shuttle Patriot burns up in the Earth's atmosphere (an eerie twist on the space shuttle Columbia disaster). Dr. Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman), a Washington D.C. psychiatrist, starts to notice a few changes. it starts with her son Oliver having nightmares. Then one of her patients, Wendy Lenk (Veronica Cartwright), says her husband is not her husband. Wendy recounts the very strange behavior of her husband. He killed their dog. Dogs don't like the aliens. The alien virus changes the infected during REM sleep. With the help of Ben (Daniel Craig), a friend and possible boyfriend, Carol realizes her son may be the key to stopping the alien virus. Show no emotion and don't go to sleep, that is when they will get you. THE INVASION is here and nothing will be the same.

THE INVASION is a solid chase thriller. The drama and action propels the film to the very end. The movie is all about the chase and the changes that pop up on you when a pandemic takes hold.  Character development isn't that much, but THE INVASION moves at a nice clip.  Cliches are present in teh script- Dr, Bennell is a divorced mother with a kid and husband doesn't want anything to do with the kid until he becomes infected.  I was slightly disappointed by the ending, but THE INVASION was well worth the wait. It was delayed by a year to do reshoots to amp up elements in the film that didn't quite work. I'm disappointed that the film didn't have a bigger opening (only $6 million). I do hope more will discover what a great thriller THE INVASION is. Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig work great together. The last name of Bennell's ex is a nod to the director of the second Invasion Of The Body Snatchers film.   Jeremy Northam freaks the hell out of me as one of the infected. The cinematography and music delivers an added punch.

THE INVASION drops some of the trademarks of the last two film versions (the screaming to point out someone who isn't one of them) and amps up the quiet deadness of the infected people. They will do anything to destroy anyone that is different if they can't be changed. THE INASION makes a good point about conflict and conforming to be the same. We may not have wars or conflicts with each other, but we would lose what makes each of us unique. The infected humans are no different than extremists. They seek to destroy all that is unique to achieve peace. The world might have been made a better place with the virus, but emotion is what makes us do good and bad things. Losing our identities would be too high of a cost. I would be freaked if someone kept offering me something to drink if I knew something strange was going on.  I would rather feel and face conflict than lose myself.

this movie review is (c)8-20-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted iwthout permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com