The Day the Earth Stood Still

Rating – **

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Keanu Barada Bodgejob! The Day the Remakes Stood Still! This is not a good film, a modern day remake which feels unsure of its purpose, an uncomfortable blend of two different films. The main plot thread doesn’t stray too far from the 1950’s original. It’s fairly gentle and focuses on Klattu’s relationship with humans as he slowly reveals his reasons for coming to Earth. Sadly just as you start to feel relaxed a big fat corporate logo for McDonalds or Microsoft pops up to remind you that this is a soulless cash-in. Just to ensure the audience isn’t getting bored, these scenes are interspersed with typical US military bravado. The government don’t trust the aliens… so they must be blown to oblivion, no questions asked. Every cliché is adhered to. We get to see army Generals ignoring rational scientists and the inevitable failure. The CGI feels totally out of place. Yes there are half a dozen decent VFX shots. The particle simulation guys worked hard as always, but none of it leaves any impact.

Just as the plot and pacing feels jarring, the design is equally ill conceived. They’ve made a point of updating the retro shiny 50’s spaceship with glowing spheres. That’s not such a bad idea but why don’t the aliens feel related to this technology? Does Gort feel like he comes from the same world? No, he represents a weak compromise, like the studio knew they needed something to appease loyal fans. “Hey look everyone, we kept Gort in the movie, see how faithful we’re being!” But it all feels redundant. He still has the shiny 50’s robot design, but now he can transform into a cloud of locust-like particles. It’s messy and ill conceived just like the whole film. While I applaud the eco friendly message, I doubt it will sway many doubters, delivered through such a lazy medium. And for the record, Keanu Reeves does his best. I’ve actually always liked him as an actor. People love to mock him but he does an admirable job with such weak material.

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~ by thewholebuffalo on July 18, 2009.

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