The “Invasion” gets three and a half stars out of a possible five star rating in the Shotgun movie scale.
As usual, I have to warn the reader that this review may contain spoilers.
For those of you familiar with my other reviews, you’ll know that I have yet to give a rating higher than two stars for any movie.
“So why is this one different” you may be asking?
Well, when it is all said and done, “The Invasion” presents a clear message about humanity; a message that is in total accord with the traditional Christian doctrine of total depravity.
The movie is set in present day America, and and begins with a space shuttle falling out of the sky in a devastating explosion. Debris is trailed all over the world. The debris is infected with an intelligent fungus type alien that attaches itself to human DNA, and takes over the mind of its host during REM sleep. Kidman finds herself waging an internal battle between her convictions about humanity and her present reality; all while fighting off the urge to fall asleep and trying to save her son from the sad fate of all the other humans who have been infected.
The central theme of the film is articulated fairly well by an exchange between Kidman’s character and Roger Rees (who plays a Russian diplomat) at a dinner party.
As contrived as the dinner table conversation may have seemed, the content of it never-the-less accurately demonstrates (in my opinion) an antithesis between a more modernist approach to mankind’s apparent depravity, and the view of the postmodernist. (Kidman proudly proclaims at the climax of the debate that she is a postmodern feminist.)
Rees it seems, is pessimistic about the nature of man. He says the following to Kidman, (who plays a psychologist):
“A veneer of civility hides our true self impulses. That’s the nature of our world, yes? Civilization is an illusion, a game of pretend. What is real is the fact that we are still animals, driven by primal instincts as a psychologist you must know this?”
Assuming knowledge of psychologists, and their habit of prescribing medications, Rees continues:
“Can you help me? Can you give me a pill to help me see the world the way you Americans do? Civilization crumbles when we need it the most. In the right situation we are all capable of the most terrible crimes. To imagine a world where this was not so…this is to imagine a world that ceases to be human.”
I love the way Rees’ character points out the absurdity of prescribing pills to solve a difference in worldviews. He displays his belief in evolutionary materialism when he describes us all as animals, acting on our own primal instincts. This is apparently a bad thing for Mr. Rees, as well as Kidman, who belies her characters postmodern leanings in her first response:
“To be honest, when someone starts talking to me about truth; I hear what they are telling me about themselves more than what they are saying about the world.”
In postmodern thought, there isn’t much room for truth claims about the external world. Subjectivism and relativism prevail. This is even clearer in her concluding comment:
“I’ll give you that we retain basic animal instincts, but you have to admit that we’re not the same animal we were a few thousand years ago. Read Colberg, Maslow, Graves, Wilbur, and you’ll see that we’re still evolving. Our consciences are changing. 500 years ago postmodern feminists didn’t exist, yet one sits right beside you today. While that fact may not undo all the terrible things that have been done in this world; at least it gives me reason to believe that one day things may be different.”
I’m not sure who those guy’s are that she suggests for reading, but I googled Maslow, and found the following description about his book, “The Psychology of Science”:
A fascinating glimpse of what science and medicine might be like if we could work to “re-humanize” them. Maslow contrasts humanistic science with value-free, orthodox science, and offers a new knowledge paradigm to replace classical “scientific objectivity.”
Maybe Hollywood script writers are more informed than I previously thought? Maslow’s book (if this review can be trusted) seems to fall right in line with Kidman’s argument:
Humanity needs to change its basic nature in order to rid itself of the depravity that is so prevalent in the world!
Kidman, Maslow, and the writers of “The Invasion” are right. As humans, we need to undergo a fundamental change in our very natures. Unfortunately (for them), this will not be achieved by evolution or new scientific psychological methods, but rather through the regeneration of our hearts by the workings of the Holy Spirit.
This movie gets three and a half stars for pointing out humanities depravity, and our need to be changed on a fundamental level.
Maybe one day, we’ll get a movie that glamorizes Christ and His wonderful gift of salvation as an answer to this depravity.
Whoaaaa… I must have fallen asleep writing this, because something like that could ONLY be a dream! Maybe I’m an alien now?