The Host--Movie Review
Let's start out with the obvious, books are better than their movie counterparts 99.9% of the time. And this movie wasn't the exception to that. In the transition from a six-hundred page book this story lost some of its most important parts, the character development. That being said, this movie wasn't as horrible as I was afraid it would be. It was like they were telling the correct story just not quite in the best way.
Things I liked:
1. Saoirse Ronan
They did a brilliant job casting Melanie/Wanda. I think Saoirse did a great job portraying Wanda, both her soft-spoken, introspective side and her more forceful side. She made it believable.
2. The Sets
They totally nailed the locations. The desert looked incredible as did the cities and the stores and basically everywhere they went. I was also pleasantly surprised by the cave, it was very close to how it was described.
3. The Souls' Portrayal
They did a pretty good job showing the nature of the souls, that they weren't completely evil or vindictive. They weren't intending to destroy everything, it was what they had to do to survive. They did a good job of using tiny things to show that. Also I really like how the Souls looked.
The little boy they cast to play Jamie did an really great job and he was SO adorable, just like I pictured him in the book. And his character was true to his motivation in the book. He learned to care for Wanda just like he cared for Melanie.
5. Uncle Jeb
He didn't get that much screen-time, but what we did see of Uncle Jeb was very close to his character from the book. He was crazy and a genius at the same time and I loved it.
Things I didn't like:
1. Lack of Character Development and Motive
Ian: A. Ian never tried to kill her in the book, and it annoyed me that he tried to in the movie.
B. His love for Wanda came out of nowhere in the movie, he just looked up at her in the field and was like, "hmmm, I'm going to change the way I've looked at these aliens for my entire life and fall in love with that girl." But in the book it is a much slower process, he got to know her and saw how good and peaceful and kind she really was.
C. I just love Ian from the book so much, and for me movie-Ian just wasn't the same character and it made me sad.
Kyle: He was barely mentioned besides the fact that he just chose to try to kill Wanda randomly. In the book he had a reason to be so prejudiced against her, not so much in the movie.
Jared: It's a tiny detail, but it annoyed me that he guarded Wanda at first, because he was supposed to absolutely hate her at that point. Why should he feel like protecting the alien who took over Melanie's body when he still thought of her as a spy? exactly, he wouldn't have.
For me the motivations for the characters just felt way off. Like when Wanda ran away from the Seeker, in this movie it made it seem more like Melanie was forcing her to run away. But in the book it was a more of a mutual thing that Wanda wanted to protect Jared and Jamie too.
2. The Voice Over
I know that there was really no better way to do Melanie being inside Wanda's head, but the voice-over felt cheesy 80% of the time for me. It couldn't have been helped, but I wish they had thought of another possible way to do it.
Final Rating: 3.5/5