The Invasion, a pallid remake of Don Siegel's Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, is slightly less frightening than its black and white inspiration. This is quite an achievement: the first film was made in 1956, when scaring people in cinemas was against the law. Nicole Kidman plays the one emotional human being in a cast of blank-faced pod people, an irony that anyone who saw The Hours will certainly appreciate.
There are no pods for the aliens to ferment in this time - the microscopic invaders arrive on earth via space shuttle, and in a neat bit of narrative nip'n'tuck, their first target is the Centre For Disease Control boss Jeremy Northam, who uses his position to innoculate vast swathes of the population with a "flu vaccine" spiked with alien DNA. Northam's ex-wife is psychiatrist Nicole, who can't understand why her patients are suddenly unable to recognise their loved ones.
"A MUDDLED MESS"
In a touch worthy of the Farrelly brothers, the alien virus is passed from person to person via vomit. This can be done politely by means of a quiet boke into your intended's coffee, but before long the baddies have dispensed with all niceties and simply ralph all over their victim's faces. So, if you ever wanted to see Jeremy Northam barking his guts into Nicole Kidman's mouth, this is the film for you. Amusingly, the alien invasion has the unexpected side-effect of halting all wars on the planet. A better film might have had some fun with this subversive concept, but we're left instead with the troublesome suggestion that the Iraq war is simply a product of human nature. Yeah right. Having established an effectively creepy mood in the first half, the film eventually degenerates into a muddled mess, with Nicole and Daniel Craig dodging zombies while popping amphetamines in a desperate effort to stay awake. We know how they feel.
The Invasion is out in the UK on 12th October 2007.