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The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

12.12.08 is the Day the Earth Stood Still

Starring:

Jaden Smith

James Hong

Jennifer ConnellyJennifer Connelly

John CleeseJohn Cleese

John Rothman

Jon Hamm

Juan Riedinger

Kathy BatesKathy Bates

Keanu ReevesKeanu Reeves

Kyle Chandler

Robert Knepper

Rukiya Bernard

Sam Gilroy

Sunita Prasad

Tanya Champoux

Directed by:

Scott Derrickson

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 104 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

On DVD

Country: Canada, United States

The world is going to end! Klaatu (Reeves) has come to warn us about it but will we listen? Will we – mainly a lovely scientist (Connelly) and her bi-polar child (Smith) – prove to him that we’re going to be spared an alien-inspired holocaust?

To start with, the story is obviously a good one as the 1950s original book is rightly seen as a sci-fi classic but it’s the way that it’s been modernized for the new generation that it really galls. Issues like the war in Afghanistan, broken families and global warming are all heavy handedly tackled with little realism or depth and just make me hate the earth even more.

Next up, the characterisation is all messed up and people’s personalities and motives flip flop more than a dying fish. Take Kathy Bates as the president’s pair of balls as one example. One minute she’s an uber-bitch who doesn’t listen and the next she’s a contrite wee old lady who just wants to give love a chance. Then there’s the little kid (mini-Fresh Prince) who one minute is shopping his supposedly in-the-know new bessie alien mate to the feds and the next crying on his shoulder. When the alien inexplicably decides that we’ve done enough for him to save humanity, it leads you to cry – no we haven’t! We’ve shown him what a bunch of wishy-washy schizophrenics we are and that we deserve to be wiped out. According to this movie’s take on us, of course. On the plus side, another perfect role found for Keanu Reeves. A soulless, personality-free alien. Spoiler alert.

It's Got: A good storyline in essence, an annoying little kid (well his character anyway), the perfect character for Keanu Reevex

It Needs: Some subtlety, a reason to save humanity

Alternatives:

Knowing, The Man Who Fell to Earth, War of the Worlds

Summary

A pointless remake that’s ruined by trying to bring it up to date. At least Keanu Reeves found his perfect role as a man with no personality.

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