After watching The Invasion, I sincerely hope that Nicole Kidman becomes the next test case for the new Jim Carrey-style Hollywood deal, where talent receives no money up front and must live or die by the quality of the film they make. An actor with her star power, while not in a position to challenge the Warner Bros. decision to replace director Oliver Hirschbiegel and remake large portions of this film after what they deemed to be an unacceptable first cut, could certainly have taken some kind of stand for basement-level quality control that doesn't exist here at all. The Invasion is a borderline-unreleasable mess, with unfinished scenes, absurdly rushed exposition, and a plethora of random bad decisions that could only be the product of a hugely stressed production. Whose idea was it, for example, to embarrass Kidman with a Carmen Electra-sized Wonderbra that she totes around for most of the picture? Also, this has to be the first time I've ever seen an adrenaline-syringe-in-the-heart scene filmed with the casualness of a blocking rehearsal.

The set-up: A returning space shuttle explodes upon re-entry and the pieces are scattered over Nowhere, America, leading to a montage of the great unwashed reporting the crash to the news media. I'm not sure if the body snatchers crashed the shuttle on purpose or if they were just hitching a ride and something went wrong, but either way their mission is accomplished -- they are now extant on Earth and can get down to their business, which is infecting all of us through liquid contact and turning us into Democrats. You see, we're told repeatedly that body snatchers are peaceful and that once they rule the roost, there will be no more war and violence. As they begin to turn more and more people, we start to see 'positive' news on television screens -- President Bush warmly meeting with Hugo Chavez, for example, with Bush having presumably been turned. By the last act, the recurring visual of a smartly-dressed Kidman being chased through D.C. parking garages by the aggressive peaceniks plays like a reel of Ann Coulter's nightmares.