Spoiler Points for The Invasion (2007)

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Spoiler Points for The Invasion (2007) [R] 93 minutes

WIP™ Scale: $13.00

Directed by: Oliver Hirschbiegel (The Downfall)

Screenplay by: Dave Kajganich (debut) based on Jack Finney's novel, The Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):

Nicole Kidman (Happy Feet) • Daniel Craig (Casino Royale) • Jeremy Northam (Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story) • Jackson Bond ("In Case of Emergency") • Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale)

Read the full review without spoilers here.

The horrifying loss of the fictional Space Shuttle Patriot upon re-entry from a routing mission is made worse as it may have been intentionally induced by an alien invasion using the shuttle debris as the vector for spreading a DNA-altering virus to the populous. Despite warnings, people touch the debris and get infected. The virus cannot take hold on the person's mind and rewrite the DNA until the person enters REM sleep where the sleep hormones catalyze the integration between the host and the alien DNA. This catalysis induces the collection of membranous, vascularized layers over the person's body, the near equivalent of a cocoon or pod during their transformation sleep cycle.

Dr. Carol Bennell's husband, Dr. Tucker Kaufman, is a scientist high up in the Center for Disease Control (CDC) who gets taken over by the alien virus early on when a little girl hands him a piece of the shuttle debris and he cuts himself on it. Once infected and able to see the 'alien light' he conceives of a way to mass inoculate the population with the virus disguised as a vaccine for the flu epidemic everyone fears.

Unaware that her husband is 'one of them', she Carol allows their son Oliver to stay over night with her father.

Later when she tries to rescue Oliver, Tucker infects her with the virus by spewing on her in a rather nasty scene. She soon learns her only way of avoiding becoming a pod person now is to never sleep again. So, she confronts the challenge of finding and rescuing her cone while never falling asleep.

Her friend, Dr. Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig) and his friend Dr. Stgephen Galeano (Jeffrey Wright) work with her to piece together the vector of transmission of the virus, how it takes hold, and they theorize what might stop it.

It is spread through liquids and contact with the sputum of those infected.
It takes hold during REM sleep.
It integrates the alien DNA into the human DNA allowing for all humans to join into one common, connected mind. There is no more need for competition, violence, war, or emotions that drive the passions of humanity. Of course, there is no room in the new order for anyone immune to the virus. It turns out that people who had a virally induced neural trauma as a child are immune. Guess what? Oliver, Carol Bennell's son, is immune. Therefore he becomes very important to both sides.

The climax of the film occurs just after Carol rescues the non-converted Oliver from her mother's-in-law home in Baltimore. The two, after being chased and hunted by Tucker, and end up having to work together to kill him to escape, find themselves in a pharmacy as they wait for the arrival of Ben Driscoll to save them. Carol takes pills and chugs Mountain Dew® to keep herself awake. She also loads a syringe with adrenalin and shows Oliver how to use it on her if she falls asleep. Unfortunately, they both eventually fall asleep, and only the banging on the walk-in freezer by pod people who have been trapped in there, wakes him up. He arises and screams for his mother. After tearing around the store like superhero, he finds her, tries to revive her, and eventually pulls the syringe from her coat pocket and punches it straight into her heart, waking her and saving her life or rather her from being converted into a pod person. Shortly thereafter, Ben arrives, and it takes Carol only a few words to realize he's late because he's been converted. And, now he wants her to join him in the conversion. He promises her that it's been a mistake to fight this. But she begs the question "What about Oliver?" and he says there's no room for those who are immune to the conversion but that they will take care of this. When he can give her no specifics, she resorts to shooting the pod people he releases from the freezer and with her last bullet wounds him in the leg. She and Oliver than escape in his car, only to find themselves quickly inundated with pod people trying to catch them. A spectacular car chase eventually gets them to a building with a rooftop-landing pad where, after a narrow escape from more pod people in the elevator, they are air lifted to safety.

The next thing we know, a vaccine has been prepared and is being spread all over the world, and Carol, Ben, and Oliver are living together nicely in a house on the hill.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review - I'd heard the ending was in the very worst Hollywood tradition. Sounds like a shocker! You've saved me a trip to the movies - thanks!