THE INVASION (*) is a complete disaster, the rancid by-product of studio-tampering, a miscast lead actress, horrendous dialogue, and a silly rather than thrilling tone. What supposedly began as a dark, cerebral sci-fi flick from credited director Oliver Hirschbiegel (DOWNFALL, DAS EXPERIMENT; both excellent films) and writer David Kajganich ended up morphing into a hackneyed wannabe actioner under the supervision of replacement filmmakers The Wachowski Brothers (they did some rewrites) and James McTiegue (he directed some new material). The film, which was produced by Joel Silver (THE MATRIX, hence the Wachowski connection) and cobbled together with footage from both sets of filmmakers, never convinced on any level, yet it remained watchable in a "let's all look at the flaming car wreck" sort of way. This being the fifth version (at least) of Jack Finney's classic sci-fi novel "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers," it's not all that surprising that one of the versions had to end up in the toilet; it's just surprising that a group of talented filmmakers and a terrific cast (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Geoffrey Wright, Jeremy Northam) could botch the job as bad as they did here. The actors, particularly Craig and Wright, shouldn't be blamed, rather, the more-or-less incoherent scripting wastes them at every turn. Kidman just isn't right in the role of a Washington DC based shrink who learns of an alien invasion after a space shuttle disintegrates over the country upon re-entry. The shuttle debris is covered in an alien goo which is basically an advanced life-form that can change people into emotionless shells of their former self. It just so happens that Kidman's son is immune to the virus and she needs to protect him from the alien/human hybrids who are trying to switch over every last healthy human being possible. What follows is a series of boring chase scenes that never fully come to life and some cheap expositional scenes meant to try and bridge the story together. Over-edited (why all the jump cuts and flash-edits?), underwritten (nothing gels), and with a slack directorial pacing, THE INVASION races to it's typical, sentimental conclusion that sacrifices any attitude and edge the filmmakers had attempted at achieving. Something must also be said for how attractive Kidman remains throughout this film. In almost every scene, she's running or jumping or sweating, wearing tight form-fitting tops and mini-skirts. Her hair is never out of place and her face looks as smooth as porcelain, even when fighting off the alien virus and getting brusied, battered, and bloodied. It's pretty hysterical to be honest. And what's with all of the vomiting aliens? If there has been a more inadvertently funny movie-image than the actors portraying the infected aliens vomiting into the faces of the ones they want to contaminate with the virus, then please tell me where to look. THE INVASION wastes a solid set-up and the goodwill that comes with one of the most timeless sci-fi stories ever imagined. THE INVASION sits right next to PATHFINDER as the worst film from 2007.