By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Diane Kruger, Jake Abel, Chandler Canterbury, William Hurt, Boyd Holbrook, Frances Fisher
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for some sensuality and violence)
Selig Rating: MATINEE
Runtime: 125 Min.
    The premise of the film is that aliens have come to Earth.  They conquer us but not by killing us but by taking over our bodies.  Their justification is that they are saving the planet from the damage humans are wreaking upon the world.  Fortunately for us, not all humans have been taken over.
    These remaining humans are slowly finding each other, banding together in wilderness areas.  Hiding from the hunters who are searching them out to use as vessels for additional members of their race who are arriving from the last planet they “saved”.
    Our story revolves around a young lady, Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan), and her little brother, Jamie (Chandler Canterbury).  When Melanie is captured by the hunters and implanted with an alien entity, Wanda.  Normally, the human’s will, their spirit or perhaps their soul, is so suppressed that for all intents and purposes it disappears when the alien takes over.  In Melanie’s case, she finds out she is one of the few humans that can retain her sense of herself.  As Wanda and Melanie each come to grips with their shared body, The Seeker (Diane Kruger), the entity who captured Melanie becomes aware that something is happening. and strives to stop it.
    Melanie/Wanda escapes and runs into the desert looking for one of the groups of survivors led by Uncle Jeb (William Hurt).  At the edge of her endurance she , or is it “they” are found by a group of renegade humans, led by Jeb.  They take her back to their sanctum deep in the wilderness.
    The sanctum is an amazing testament to human ingenuity, allowing the humans to live in comfort in the desert, growing much of the food they need to survive.  But it doesn’t provide everything.  Periodically they must send people into the city to get those goods they can’t get any other way.  This is their weakness.  The weakness that gives The Seeker and her teams in shiny chrome silver sports cars and helicopters a chance to find them.
    And, of course, there is a love triangle, or considering the situation, perhaps it’s a love square.  Melanie loves one man and Wanda loves another.  Watching how Andrew Niccol adapted his screenplay from Stephenie Meyer’s novel, bringing the words to the screen; watching the tension and love between Wanda/Melanie, Jared, and Ian blossom and grow was well worth watching.
    How the subplots, and the love story, resolve into an ending that you KNOW is setting us up for more episodes.  I am looking forward to seeing how these amazing characters and the wonderful actors and actresses grow.  Do I really think Stephenie wants this to do as well as the “Twilight” stories?  Yes, I do.
Selig Film News Roundtable Interview with Max Irons, Jake Abel, and Chandler Canterbury:
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!


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