The Invasion: Nicole kicks ass and Jeremy is repulsive

30 Aug

At one point in the Body Snatcher remake, The Invasion, Nicole Kidman
describes herself as a “post-modern feminist.” I had to stop and ask
myself what that meant exactly. I needn’t have wondered long because a few
minutes later she was standing in a post-apocolyptic drugstore, waving a
gun and shouting, “nobody touches my son.” She blows away half a dozen
body snatching alien zombie types, one of whom was her boyfriend. Well,
she only shot him in the leg, but at any rate that ended his gig as a
potential rescuer. Nicole Kidman’s post-modern feminist follows a long
line of single mom sci fi action heroes going back to Spielberg’s Close
Encounters of the Third Kind
and winding up with the Sarah Connor
. I guess being a post-modern feminist means you get to blow
people away instead of waiting for a man to do it for you.

Kidman, like Gene Tierney, is an absurdly beautiful actress whom I’ve
struggled to relate to in almost movie in which I’ve seen her (Eyes Wide
, Moulin Rouge and Cold Mountain). I think I might finally like her in
The Invasion. It’s not just her ass-kicking, but the fact that
she actually convinces me that the thing she loves most in the world
is her son, who has come before her career and all of the other men in her
life. In a great scene her zombified ex-husband (Jeremy Northam) brings
her to task for this and then tries to kill her. Guess who makes it out of
that confrontation? I’ll give you a hint: righteous single moms who don’t
have sex with their boyfriends (even though they are Daniel Craig) are
basically unkillable in a horror movie. Have sex: die. Stay chaste: live.
It’s a simple formula and people have no business describing themselves as
either “post-modern” or “feminist,” let alone both, while in a movie that
subscribes to such nonsense.

"Mom, there's something wrong with dad."

I’ll admit that I totally watched this movie for Jeremy Northam. It was
hard because his character is the first one turned by the body snatchers.
He transforms into an alien and then mostly disappears. He’s like Typhoid
Mary only much handsomer. But he is really creepy, too. Northam adopts
that glazed tone of voice that he used so effectively in Cypher, but with
total menace behind his eyes. The scene in which he pins down Kidman and
tries to snag in her face to zombify her is the only moment in the history
of cinema in which the idea of being pinned down by Jeremy Northam is
unappealing. He is really quite scary which is more than just a little
conflicting for a Northam fangirl like myself. Yeah he was evil and insane
in The Net, but with his charm and the Notorious references, I would have
probably let him murder me. In The Invasion, I didn’t exactly cheer when
Nicole brained him with a blunt object, but I felt a bit relieved to end
the torment to my soul caused by the sensation of being repulsed by Jeremy

by JennyTheNipper

Thanks so much to Jenny for this guest blog post.

Jenny’s wonderful blog, Cinema OCD, contains reviews of classic movies and is very well worth a visit. JennyTheNipper is the author of three books about classic film stars published under the name “Jenny Curtis.” Jenny is equally well-known in the world of classic movie geekdom as “Nipper.” If you’ve ever seen Bringing Up Baby or The Awful Truth, you may remember “Jerry the Nipper” on which the nom de blog is an obvious pun.

6 Responses to “The Invasion: Nicole kicks ass and Jeremy is repulsive”

  1. henrysmummy2003 August 30, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    Thanks so much, Jenny, great post! Jeremy was the reason I watched too…but for me there was too much Nicole (who seems to take herself VERY seriously) too much Daniel (who hadn’t been given enough material to actually create any kind of character and who therefore just appears in scenes), and too little Jeremy (who actually did have stuff to do and does it well when given half a chance). I, unlike you, would allow myself to be pinned down by zombie-Jeremy…though I would draw the line at the barfing…that’s just not nice, even for a zombie!

  2. Rosamond Tifft August 30, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    I want to commend Jenny the Nipper for her amusing and very intelligent commentary on what would have been for me an otherwise not very interesting film outing. She made it come alive and gave our Jeremy and Nicole every opportunity to shine. I’m not a particular Nicole fan, except for one film, rather a noire she made which I do love, where she plays an ovely ambitious news woman who does not stop at husband murdering to further her aims. I thought she was the living end in that and that was a very good film. Now, Jeremy is something else. Though, I haven’t seen nearly enough of him and his work, what I have seen tells me he has greatness in him and that’s all I need to know and feel. Plus he is so adorable and a real cutie to boot. I respect him and his work, he surprises me, as the best of them do, and yet has enough of himself present to make the relationship continuous and dominant. Real and ongoing. Thank you again, Jenny, I’d like to find your books soon. And to this site, which does Jeremy Fine.

    • Debra August 31, 2010 at 1:00 am #

      I wouldn’t have watched this film except for the fact that Jeremy Northam was in it.

      His role was fairly significant. Although I don’t usually watch this genre – I found myself curious about the ending.

  3. LauraP August 31, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    Thanks for a delightful post about a less-than-delightful role for Jeremy, Jenny. You’ve pinpointed my problem with this film: it’s just so cosmically WRONG to feel repulsed by Jeremy Northam! Lol!

    I was encouraged to see your annoyance with my personal pet peeve about women in movies and television: the whole have sex and die or be a “good girl” and live dynamic really, really gets my goat. Good for you for calling them on it!

  4. Martina September 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    Hi Jenny, I also want to say thanks for this most amusing and though very correct review, I like the easiness and the humor of your writing very much. I also agree with the argumentation of most of the ladies: not my cup of tea, so what – Jeremy is in it! A strange thing happend when I first read in a German magazine about Oliver Hirschbiegel`s intention to make a Hollywood production with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. They announced that they were still looking for an actor to do the 2. male leading part – and I was praying half-hearted “please, please, Jeremy, Jeremy” , not so much of Nicole Kidman but for Oliver`s sake! I can tell you I was flabbergasted when it really happened a few weeks later! But alas, it didn`t work out well, did it? Such a mess with disagreement, re-shooting, delay of release and so on. And the actors had to carry the can.

  5. Jennythenipper September 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Gil: I agree, Nicole’s seriousness is a bit of problem.
    Rosamund: What was the noir you were talking about?
    Debra: Sci fi horror can be fun, (Think the first two Aliens movies) and District 9 was one of the best movies last year. This isn’t a great entry in the genre. An average film with two above average performances.
    Laura: It’s such a horror movie cliche. I can’t believe it still goes on in the 21st century.
    Martina: I didn’t realize there had been problems in the filming. I do sort of vaguely remember a delayed release which is never a good sign.

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