This is a second remake of the 1956 movie The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
The first remake followed 22 years later in 1978 and had the same name. This remake follows 29 years after that one and is simply called The Invasion.
The 1978 version had a cameo from Kevin McCarthy who was the star of the original film. The pic below is Kevin McCarthy from the 1978 version but to be funny, someone Photoshopped this pic so that he is black-and-white just to emphasize that he is original 1956 black-and-white version.
The 2007 version has a main character who was also a main character in the 1978 version. The character Nancy is played by Veronica Cartwright. I'm sure there will be another remake in 25 years and perhaps Nicole Kidman or Daniel Craig will have a cameo or starring role. According to imdb.com, Veronica Cartwright has been quite busy in mostly in TV shows. I just realized that she was in Alien in 1979 which I also saw and which also scared the crap out of me. I never connected those two performances as the same person. I saw her in The Right Stuff, Flight of the Navigator and The Witches of Eastwick. I don't remember her in Kinsey and the TV show CSI but I probably saw her without thinking making the connection. She is very recognizable so I'll be sure to look out for her in the future.
I'm a big fan of the original although I've only seen it on TV as a kid growing up. Then I saw the 1978 version in the theatre when I was 14. It scared the crap out of me. After the movie I was walking thru the parking lot at night with my friend Steve, heading to the Burger King, and suddenly Steve stops while I'm talking and I keep walking. I get about 10 feet and turn around and he gives me that look like he's one of them. Then he slowly raises his finger and points at me and imitates the final scene of the 1978 movie. Then he proceeds to make the growling squealing noise the "invaded" make. That freaked me out pretty good. It was a good scare. Props to you buddy!
Here is Veronica Cartwright (below) reaction to Donald Sutherland (above). I don't think I freaked quite this much.
Here is Veronica Cartwright in Alien a year later.
Unfortunately I missed the first 10 minutes of the movie. Here in Malaysia when they say the movie stars at 2 pm, it starts at 2 pm. The commercials and previews run before that. In the US, the commercials and previews would start at 2 pm and the movie might actually start at 2:20 pm so you have some time. I like that. So I missed how the world got infected in the first place. I think it had something to do with something brought back from the Space Shuttle.
The main difference is that there were no pods so no "Pod People". In the other versions, if you fell asleep close to a Pod, then a Pod person would be created.
They would be born and you would disappear somehow crumbling into dust basically. In the 1956 version this process took many hours. In the 1978 version it happened much faster. As a pod person you are born naked of course, hence the full-frontal nudity scene in the 1978 version. Of course being 14, I remember those bobbling breasts quite vividly as she walked naked and pointed. I read some Trivia that they filmed that scene with her naked and the same scene with her wearing clothes so when it was shown on TV, they used the clothed version as seen in this pic below. I honestly did try to find the naked pic but failed. Maybe if I joined Mr. Skin, they might have it.
In the 2007 version, you can get infected via saliva. The aliens basically spit in your drink to infect you and the next time you go into REM sleep, your DNA changes and you become one of them. The process takes several hours.
The infected have the ability to spray some kind of green goo from their mouths into your face to infect you. Those that are found to be immune are killed. Her son gets captured by the infected and try to infect him but he is immune. Most of the movie is about her trying to rescue her son.
I had learned about this movie by seeing a review on the Totally Rad Show Podcast. That was the only review I saw before seeing this movie and those 3 guys did not like it very much. I was fond of the first two movies so I had to see this movie and I've been a fan of Nicole Kidman ever since I saw her in Dead Calm in 1989. I followed that with Days of Thunder and Far and Away and Eyes Wide Shut, all with Tom Cruise. I also saw her in Batman Forever, The Peacemaker, Cold Mountain, The Stepford Wives and Bewitched.
Although I'm a huge fan of the new James Bond with Daniel Craig in Casino Royale (2006), I did not recognize him in his role in this movie.
I don't want to spoil the ending for you but let me just say that it ends differently than the first two and I was disappointed with that. I want to say more but I would spoil it. The ending just seemed too neat and easy. And the guys in the Totally Rad Show were right when they said that she kept getting into binds where it looked like there was no way out, and yet she manages to escape each time.
There is also a scene where she is confronted by her husband and about 6 other people, all who have been converted. She has a gun which she took from the police officer while he was transforming. They could easily take her down if they all jump her at once. At most she could kill one or two of them but instead they just stand there and come at her one at a time. She shoots each of them dead until it's just her husband and she can't kill him so she shoots him in the knee. Not believable.
This remake was OK. The first one is a classic and the second one is quite scary but this third one just takes it a new direction that I didn't appreciate. It tried to give it a modern spin which is understandable. It makes more sense that your DNA would be altered instead of some kind of Pod transformation.
The most interesting thing about the movie is whether the world would be a better place if we were all "pod people". At the start of the movie you see there is a lot of turmoil in the world but as the world gets infected, peace begins to settle over the world. The world becomes a better place. And as they explained, they would eliminate hunger, poverty, hardship, conflict, etc.
But what the movie did not answer is what we lose. Would we lose our ambition to invent and create? Would we stagnate as a race never progressing but merely existing? If that is the case, then I would not any part of that world.
But assuming that the invaded could still be ambitious and progress the human race, then come invade me now. I'm all for it.