Robert Atkinson (Mike Beckingham) works in a bank in the heart of London. He’s just been dumped by his girlfriend and after and argument with his brother, Steve (Dougie Poynter) and a bag load of the bank’s money, Robert decides to indulge in his favourite pastime – gambling.
However, after some bad luck at the tables, Robert is made an offer that he can’t refuse by a local Triad gang leader Lau Hoi Ho (Togo Igawa). All Robert has to do is to deliver a package to Amsterdam and all his debt will be cleared. However, after a couple of chance encounters Robert finds himself in deeper trouble than he could ever imagine, putting his life in serious danger.
The Host is a movie that starts off as a stylish albeit slightly predictable British crime thriller, but as the story goes on it takes an unusual and unexpected turn that may throw its audience off their guard, or may put them off entirely.
Everything about The Host sets the movie firmly in place, so whereas the audience may think they know where they story is going, they still expect to be entertained by the comfortable and familiar plot.
Unfortunately, this is where The Host subverts the audience’s expectations and without giving too much away, the twist forces the audience to reassess what kind of movie they thought they were watching. It also forces them to get acquainted with some characters that they had only briefly met before.
It’s unfortunate in some ways, because if the movie ended how it began then it may have been more enjoyable, giving the audience a more suspenseful story. What the audience end up getting though is a twist about halfway through that is completely unnecessary, unsettling those who realise they are not getting what they paid for and boring some fans of the genre that know all the clichés that are about to come.
It doesn’t help that the true villain of the piece isn’t believable, nor is there any clear motive to the villain’s actions which dilutes any real sense of danger.
Therefore, The Host leaves the audience waiting for the film to be over and reach its inevitable end. It also doesn’t help that a final twist leaves the audience groaning as it is as pointless as the first.
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