MOVIE REVIEW: The Day The Earth Stood Still: Well Mounted But Empty

The Robert Wise film, The Day The Earth Stood Still, was a metaphor for a cold war that was threatening to go hot. The remake is an ecological horror tale – if we can’t take care of the earth, we – and everything we’ve created – will be removed.

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It seems that we are at the edge of a great precipice – not unlike the civilizations that grew on a handful of other planets out there in the universe. Klaatu [Keanu Reeves] has been sent to carry out the removal of the one major blight on the planet – us. Where the precipice comes in is when a beautiful scientist, Dr. Helen Benson [Jennifer Connelly], asks him if the other civilizations Out There had come to such a precipice and what happened.

So, despite the governments and people of Earth behaving like paranoid imbeciles – and even Helen’s stepson, Jacob [Jaden Christopher Smith] says we should kill Klaatu – even though all that violence and paranoid is only offset by a bit of Bach and the love Helen has for Jacob, Klaatu has had the answer he needed all along. It just takes one beautiful lady scientist to ask the question that shakes the answer loose. That’s drama, folks!

For the third time in three weeks, I’ve seen a film that held a certain amount of promise and discovered that promise is wonderful for trailers, but films need a bit more than that. The Day The Earth Stood Still is well made. It moves at an appropriate pace; most of the effects are quite effective; most of the cast give solid performances [Reeves is his usual Tabula Rasa self – you see what you want to see in his transparent performance… or not…], and there’s even a moral to the story.

Too bad that that the whole thing just so damned silly.

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