Every era seems to have a connection to the "Body Snatchers" as there have been about 4 films so far that are based on the classic tale and it has spawned numerous similarily themed films and silly rip-offs (Invasion of the Pod People).
The first version and arguably the best is Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) which dealt with McCarthism. The next take on the classic came in 1978 with Invasion of the Body Snatchers and has become my favorite version of the tale. It focused on our need to be emotional even when it makes no sense, hence, the appearance of Leonard Nimoy in the film who built a career playing Spock, part emotionless Vulcan and part human, on Star Trek. Then there came Body Snatchers in 1994 and although that was a rather forgettable version, it did have something to say about the "me" and "greed" era of the 1980's.
Now we have "The Invasion" in which Nicole Kidman takes on Leonard Nimoy's supporting role in the 1978 version and makes it the starring role. She is well-supported by the new James Bond, Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, and even the actor who plays the new Felix Liter in the same Bond film. In addition, there is Jeremy Northam (The Net) who has made a nice career playing heavies, and in a moment of inspirational casting there is Veronica Cartwright playing a patient of Kidman's.
Cartwright was terrific in Alien (the first one) and has been in more supporting roles in film and television than I can remember. But why is she so memorable for being in this film? She was in the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, and Leonard Nimoy. She is a consistently strong supporting actress and to see her return 30 years later in this remake is fun and it's nice that her role isn't some small cameo either.
The film itself is rather unremarkable even though it is enjoyable. I think it may end up being only a bit more remembered than the 1994 version of this tale only because of it's cast as the direction, effects, music, and photography are all rather pedestrian. In addition, many may recall this film for NOT having the infamous "pods" for which this tale is so well-known for. While this makes this take a bit unique, I think it's a flaw as it treats the invasion more as an infection and less than an interglatic fight to exist as we are and not as another being would have us be and that is ironically the focus of this film even though that isn't played up until near the end (as if it were an after-thought).
This tale continues to be haunting even with the lackadaisical approach here because this tale speaks to us in this era that seems to suggest that everyone not exactly like one group is wrong or bad. We have become in this era rather ethnocentric and this film lightly explores how if we were all alike there would be no more wars, distrust, hate and so forth, but for that kind of world we must give up our souls. In the end, this film attempts to redeem it's own pointlessness by throwing in the question of whether is it better to have wars over religion, status, wealth, etc. or have peace at the cost of not being who we are and our right to express that.
The film wastes the talents of all by only hinting on this theme rather than exploring it with more depth and sincerity as the previous versions explored their visions of paranoia, isolationism, and the deadening of emotions in an ever increasingly violent world. For this lack of seriousness and earnestness this film is all too much like the 1994 version which was more like this one in that it had a good cast and was appropriately chilling, but lacked significant punch and/or influence.
This film is mild popcorn fun and the whole family can see it, but don't expect it to hold up to the first two far superior versions of this timeless tale.