Robert A. Heinlein's The Puppet Masters
Reviewed by Nathan Johnston
Rating: 8 Beans
kay, here is yet another movie that has been adapted from a book. I have not read Robert A. Heinlein's novel so I will not compare the two in this review. But I will say, even on its own this is a really poor movie. Its inconsistent, continuity is non-existent, the action sequences are poor and the camera work leaves a lot to be desired. I don't know how many blurred action sequence and chase sequence shots y'all can take before you start to get annoyed, but I know that it doesn't take me all that many.
The action/fight sequences are so contrived that you can almost hear the actors discussing their next move in the middle of the fight. The sequences are totally unconvincing and every punch, kick, duck or weave has a sense of hesitancy about it.
Hats off however, to all the inconsistencies throughout the movie. For starters, at the beginning of the movie, the good guys find the hosts/aliens remarkably hard to kill (becuase the aliens increase the adrenilin levels of their host we are quickly told). In this instance a full clip is emptied into a host before they finally die. But, by the end of the movie, the hosts/aliens are being killed or stopped with one gun shot or even with a couple of *very* well placed punches.
Then there is the case of the first humans who survive being hosts. Once the alien leaves their body, they go through withdrawal symptoms. Its said that the aliens fulfil a need of some sort. This need is so great that one guy actually kills himself becuase the alien is no longer part of him. Later on in the movie everybody's recovery period after being a host is remarkably reduced so that they are in tip top condition after about roughly a minute. Gotta love the resilience of the human body huh?
Added to that Donald Sutherland has mathematical abilities that Einstein would have killed for. He displays remarkable prowess being able to mentally calculate the exponential growth in the number of aliens in less than 5 seconds. Also, something totally non-related. I can also recall four instances in the movie where things were explained away with a few comments or less.
Then there is the ending of the movie that fights kicking and screaming better than the actors not to end! I'd say that there would be about three endings tacked on one after the other (and no, I'm not going to give them away here). Each ending degenerates the movie even further into the depths of Bad Movie Hell. Each ending disregards all logic and even the facts and story developement stated an hour or less before hand to keep going. By the end, the movie is utterly desperate and painful. It might have been laughable if it wasn't so serious.
I'll leave it at that because I can think of absolutely nothing at all humorous to say about the movie. Its just poor and it will have you grimacing at the TV with a curled lip like it did me.
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