“of the Body Snatchers,” to complete the title. Yes, this is the fourth legal adaptation of Jack Finney's horrific sci-fi novel, about an epidemic from outer space that makes people go to sleep, get gooey, and wake up acting like Mitt Romney. The central concept of nocturnal dehumanization retains its chilling modernist tension and dread (“Don't go to sleep!”), and here is given a perverse political twist, which I won't spoil. After the recent glut of zombie pictures, the proceedings admittedly seem a bit pedestrian – in the literal sense of Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig power-walking away from a bunch of thankless extras – and everyone is somewhat inevitably playing their generic roles, well, in their sleep. Yet even if the opening scene suggests a soda commercial, this is a sleek, classy thriller with a restrained approach to effects and violence, and a breathless speed that recalls The Bourne Identity
et al. The biggest annoyance is Kidman's precocious son from the planet of bad child actors, but as a kind of compensation, she does get to toss another ankle-biter into a bedpost.
is rated R and opens Friday.