It’s one of the most memorable moments in cinema: Kevin McCarthy, the only witness to an alien takeover of a small California town, runs down a street shouting, “They’re here already! You’re next! You’re next!”
In Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, spores from outer space grow into huge pods capable of producing an exact likeness of another person, but with one telling difference: each “pod person” is completely lacking in human emotion.
Update the story to present day Hollywood, with soulless duplicates attempting to create a world free of complexity, emotion and individuality, and certain creative decisions made by the studios begin to make more sense. How do movies like Terminator Genisys get made? Because Pod People run Hollywood, and their agenda is to keep the masses ignorant and apathetic.
Think about it: faceless Corporations now control all the movie studios, which in turn control everything we see. They replaced original ideas with brands and franchises, substituted celebrities for movie stars and gave us Showbiz Correspondents instead of journalists.
Examine Tinseltown’s biggest missteps from the last few decades, and one thing becomes apparent: not only do Pod People walk among us, but they have been here for a very long time. Video game adaptations, Paris Hilton’s acting career and The Phantom Menace were just the tip of the iceberg.
10. The Equalizer
Based on the TV show that aired on CBS from 1985-9, The Equalizer reteams Denzel Washington with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, but anyone who's ever seen a thriller made by human hands will be ahead of the story at every turn.
Tired clichés are the order of the day, from slimy foreign gangsters to dirty cops, plus there’s also dialogue of the “f**k you, you mother**ker” variety and Chloe Moretz as a teenage hooker (with a heart of gold, obviously) who has Taxi Driver written all over her.
When she’s hospitalized by thugs, Denzel wipes out those responsible, which leads to a cat-and-mouse game with mobster Teddy (Marton Csokas, also a slimy foreigner in XXX and The Bourne Supremacy). You know the drill: they talk in a restaurant, Denzel gives him the “I’ve done things I’m not proud of” speech, Teddy decides to “send him a message” etc.
The script is by Richard Wenk, who also co-wrote The Expendables 2 and The Mechanic, so if you thought those efforts were by the numbers and surprise-free, you needn’t waste your time here. The Equalizer just wants to party like it’s 1989 and ignore how familiar the material is.