Friday, July 12, 2013

Movie Review: The Host

Whenever I watch a movie that's based off a book, I'm a little nervous about how they're going to adapt it.  I'm usually okay with small changes; it's the big changes and pointless additions that bother me.  But there really wasn't a reason to worry about that with The Host.  If I had seen this movie just a few days ago, it probably would have had a place in my Top Ten Best Book-to-Movie adaptations.  It has a great cast, the writing and pace are good, and it stays relatively close to the book.
  • Casting
    • Saoirse Ronan was perfect as Melanie/Wanda.  She's a brilliant actress (I personally think she'd be a better Tris than Shailene Woodley), and I love how she portrayed her character's inner conflict.
    • Max Irons and Jake Abel - how do you choose?  (Team Ian!)  They each brought their characters to life perfectly.  They were exactly the way I pictured them in the book.
    • Diane Kruger pulled off her character so well.  I totally despised her throughout the movie because she just oozed evilness.
    • Secondary/supporting characters - Each person they chose for the other parts was great, whether they were well-known (William Hurt) or not (Chandler Canterbury).  They all brought so much personality to their roles, even if it was only a small part.
  • Writing/Script
    • I have to admit I was a little concerned about the writing for this movie.  I kept thinking, "What if this is another Twilight?"  Even though the book had been so amazing, it didn't mean that the screenwriters would do it justice.  Fortunately they did, staying away from total cheesiness and writing a pretty sweet movie.
  • Pace/Action
    • I definitely felt like they beefed up the action in the movie in order to keep things from getting slow.  They don't add any unnecessary action scenes.  They simply took what was already in the book and made it bigger.
    • The movie was paced very well.  It never felt like it was getting boring, or that the story was dragging.  With the action scenes mixed in with the romance and drama, the movie had a good balance of movement.
    • The only weird thing about the movie was that it felt both rushed and not rushed.  The movie itself moved at a good pace (which I already said), but at the end, I couldn't help but feel like it had all happened too quickly.  I think that was mostly because they had to cut a lot from the book for the sake of time, so I kept feeling like they'd skipped ahead too far.
  • Book vs. Movie
    • I loved how true the movie was to the book.  Yes, there were small changes, but every adaptation makes small changes here and there.  None of the changes were drastic or story-altering.  They were very minor things that I had no problem with.
    • Also, as I said earlier, things were cut from the story.  But once again, when doing an adaptation, you can't fit a whole book into a two-hour movie, unless it's a really short book.  And The Host is in no way a short book.
I truly loved this movie and felt that it lived up to the book.  I'm definitely looking forward to Stephenie Meyer's next two books in the series, and I hope that if they do movie adaptations of those, that they can get the original cast and do as well with them as they did with The Host.

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