“All good things must come to an end,” begins an Invasion pan by Variety‘s Dennis Harvey. “In this case, the lucky streak that’s made every adaptation of Jack Finney‘s 1955 sci-fi novel The Body Snatchers distinctive and effective, until now.
“Troubled production — of which the Wachowski brothers reportedly reshot at least a third after a cut by original helmer Oliver Hirschbiegel failed to please suits — emerges a slick but forgettable, characterless thriller. Lure of Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig‘s first post-Bond role and large-scale PG-13 action-horror could produce OK opening numbers, but steep falloff is guaranteed. Ancillary may drag pic into the eventual black.
“Perhaps auds will eventually get to see what German helmer Hirschbiegel, making his English-language feature debut, and scenarist David Kajganich intended in director’s-cut DVD form. Purportedly it was offbeat, politically barbed and quasi-documentary in style. Those qualities are MIA in the current version, whose occasional nods to earlier versions (Veronica Cartwright, memorable in the Kaufman version, has a brief role here) only serve as a reminder of how much better they were.”
Harvey’s idea makes basic sense. How could Warner Home Video not win by releasing the Hirschbiegel cut? At the very least it would make for an essential two-disc special edition DVD. No HE comment on the 93-minute Wachowski “suit” version until Friday, but including an alternative director’s cut would obviously heighten interest when the film debuts on DVD at the end of the year (or sometime in early ’08).