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The Invasion
An introduction to Bond and a solid return for Kidman.
The Invasion
Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig in "The Invasion."
OPENING WEEKEND: $29,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $96,000,000
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

January 12th, 2006: The country is threatened by a mysterious epidemic that alters human behavior. When Carol (Nicole Kidman), a Washington D.C. psychiatrist, unearths that the origins of the plague are extraterrestrial, she attempts to warn others of her discovery. With the help of her colleague and friend Ben (Daniel Craig), Carol examines further mysterious details of the conspiracy. She soon comes to the realization that her own son might hold the key to stopping an alien invasion and must fight to protect him.

What to Expect: Initially, The Visiting was intended to be a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), but as the filmmakers began adding new twists and surprises, the script took on a fresh and original shape. Don Siegel’s classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers was a terrific sci-fi scare, reminiscent of the best “Twilight Zone” episodes, except without the excessive cheesiness. Judging by the source material, The Visiting is already taking a step in the right direction by adapting a similar concept. For German director Hirschbiegel, this will be his first American film. He first received some worldwide acclaim for his 2001 film, Das Experiment. The film depicted the events of a research study that was conducted in 1971, in which a group of average men were recruited to play guards and inmates in a replica of a prison. It was a fascinating story that showed the experiment’s devastating effects on the men, clouding their judgment and resulting in total abuse of power by the “guards.” Hirschbiegel followed Das Experiment with The Downfall, a film that was universally hailed by critics and received a Best Foreign Film Academy Award Nomination. In it, Hirschbiegel attempted to recreate the state of Germany just prior to the end of World War II, specifically concentrating on Adolf Hitler and his final desperate days locked up in a bunker. His fascination with dark and psychological subject matter should be a perfect match for The Visiting.

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The film also appears to be an excellent rebound project for the superstar, Nicole Kidman. Ever since her breakthrough year in 2001 when she made Moulin Rouge! and The Others, she looked poised to become one of Hollywood’s most important leading ladies. However, since winning an Oscar for her transformation in The Hours, her career has been a little uneven. Her next films, Lars von Trier’s controversial Dogville and the epic Cold Mountain were still highly regarded, but The Human Stain, Birth, The Stepford Wives, and Bewitched failed to generate genuine interest and were ultimately considered failures. Kidman did manage one modest hit in between the disappointments with Sydney Pollack’s intriguing political thriller, The Interpreter. Although she could be blamed for some of her poor choices, Kidman’s reputation has remained intact throughout those past few years, as her performances have been consistently strong, regardless of the material. She still remains a powerful Hollywood figure and should easily carry The Visiting as the lead star. Starring opposite of her is the up and coming Daniel Craig (Laura Croft: Tomb Raider, Road to Perdition, Layer Cake, Munich), whose portfolio recently exploded when it was announced that he would take over from Pierce Brosnan as the next James Bond. Since the new 007 flick, Casino Royale, comes out in November, his role in The Visiting just a couple of months prior should spark some curiosity among worldwide audiences. I’ve always felt that Craig had a unique persona that was bound to make an impact eventually and The Visiting will probably be a major stepping-stone for him this year.

This appears to be one of those merges between European talent and Hollywood power that should work to everyone’s benefit. Hirschbiegel possesses the ability to make a suspenseful sci-fi thriller with ideas, without alienating the public. The film will undoubtedly have lots of haunting sets and a cinematography drenched in shadows, but it should stay away from truly dark themes, opting for some commercial sensibility instead. Unless he does something terribly wrong, Hirschbiegel looks to have a long career in Hollywood. The Visiting should also be a great vehicle for both of its main stars, as Kidman appears to have a good comeback film and Craig seeks a widespread introduction as a leading man. I think both will succeed in their respective positions. Finally, the producers seem to have a strong late summer entry that will do well in its theatrical run.

In Conclusion: Expect lots of good scares and sensational revelations, as The Visiting should be able to generate an atmosphere full of paranoia. With an eerie storyline, a creative director, a talented superstar, and a celebrity on the rise, the producers have probably found a good investment that’s guaranteed to thrill. It will not shatter box office records, but The Visiting will most likely be the type of movie that will live on for years to come in rentals and television broadcasts. At the very least, it should be a good late summer popcorn flick.

Similar Titles: The Others, The X-Files, Invasion of the Body Snatchers
August 17th, 2007 (wide)
January 29th, 2008 (DVD)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Oliver Hirschbiegel

Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Wright

Total: 97 vote(s).

Horror, Science Fiction, Suspense

Click here to view site

Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing content and terror.






The Invasion at AskMen.com

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