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Invasion

(1997)
No, not the Nicole Kidman movie thats so-so. This is a different version of the same story, made for TV in 1997 and looking every inch of it. Why? Because Im more than a little partial to Kim Cattrall (ever since Big Trouble in Little China almost 30 years ago) and as my genitalia are external, I cant sit through Sex and the City. So I have to grub around second rate fare like this if I want to see her, usually (although Meeting Monica Velour was outstanding). Im not going to recap the plot; its Invasion of the Bodysnatchers by way of Andromeda Strain (the alien virus boogers come from space in little rocks), and since its based on a Robin Cook novel, there are several long dull stretches of medical science that no one cares about. Also its way too long; its a three-episode miniseries, so it clocks in at nearly three hours, when it could have been tied up in about eighty minutes. Here Luke Perry (hey, I still like him, if for no other reason than his memorable turn in Buffy the Vampire Slayer a hundred years ago) is patient zero, a guy named Beau (yeesh), who gets infected and suddenly becomes emotionless and speaks in perfect grammar, because we havent seen those indicators before. His fiance, Cassy (Rebecca Gayheart, which makes sense) takes for-everrr to figure out somethings wrong with him, but by then hes recruited a Bill Gates stand-in (Neal McDonough) and is using his vast empire to build some alien gateway like they did at the end of the Avengers movie, except with a vastly larger budget there, so that the little virus goober buggies can come to earth, which doesnt make any sense because theyve already infected billions, so arent they already here? And we know theyre bad because alien Luke Perry tells us they killed the dinosaurs way back when because they werent working out, and I kept thinking how could you read a book with this plot and not laugh out loud? Theres some other guy named Pitt (really? You named your kid after a college?), played by Christopher Orr, whos sort of the hero, and a few other non-descript faces who make no impression. Cattrall plays a doctor, and they go out of their way to make her look dowdy, which is hard, because even now in her fifties shes still pretty hot. She leads most of the other brain-dead non-infectees, and theres a lot of running around and everyone says internet with a reverent tone (it was 1997), and of course with a three-hour run time theres a lot of needless padding. There is no reason to see this film. Its not execrably bad like Spring Breakers or Sharknado though it wholly lacks the latters camp value but its so thoroughly mediocre it would fit right in on the SyFy channel. Look, 99% of all Americans have seen some version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, we remake it every seven years or so, like cinematic locusts rising from the ground, because our society completely lacks trust and the revelation that the Tea Party is actually run by a bunch of evil conformist aliens would explain quite a lot, actually. So if youre going to trot out this old horse, which has several effective or even good versions already in existence, you should at least add something a little different to engage us while were nine steps ahead of you in the plot department (the recent Kidman remake

had staying awake as a temporary allayment of the alien booger virus, for example). This movie settled for borrowing from the Andromeda Strain, which is such a boring-ass story and movie that Crichton took the bones of the plot and draped it with androids (Westworld) and dinosaurs (Jurassic Park) and even time travel (Timelines). This film doesnt try that hard or at all and so by the hundred minute mark or so youre wishing (or at least I was) that they would either find a cure, submit to the aliens and call it a day, or at the very least find Cattrall a pair of jeans that fit snugly (a la Gracie Law) rather than the dowdy brown business suit shes hidden beneath through the last two thirds of the movie. No one had any intention of watching this film before I wrote this review, and that hasnt changed now, after 750 words and about twenty minutes of my time. So in essence this entire review was a waste of time and effort, much like the movie that inspired it. September 22, 2013