Remakes: always a touchy subject. No matter how good of an effort a remake is, they’re bound to piss people off who loved the original and see the remake as a rape. I myself have nothing against remakes. I just accept that they’re being made and watch the end-product as neutrally as possible. In this case it was fairly easy for me having never seen the original from 1951.
You might know the story of “The Day the Earth Stood Still”; an alien visits the earth accompanied by a big giant robot. He wants to inform us our time is up because our way of life is killing the planet. He requests to talk to our leaders (of the world that is, not America) but he doesn’t get any further than some scientists and the secretary of defence. And before he even gets there he is shot. You travel lightyears through the galaxy only to get shot the minute you leave your spaceship on your destination. Bummer.
The title is actually something to ponder about. The Earth never actually stands still in the movie. Not even for a day. Actually, the entire movie takes place in two days so it can’t be standing still as day and night go through their cycles as normal. So that makes no sense really…
So here we have an alien who is here to destroy us, but wants to speak to our leaders even though he multiple times claims that things have been set in motion and they can’t be stopped or he doesn’t know if they can’t be stopped. If you’re going to erase not only the entire human race, but also every trace of our existence, why inform us of this fact? Just come, destroy and leave… Apparently our alien friend Klaatu can stop this attack but only when he is convinced that we can change. Well since the election of Obama you and I know that Yes We Can, but it takes a little more than a speech to convince Klaatu. of course you probably can guess where this is going and you don’t have to worry about leaving the theatre depressed.
Keanu Reeves plays our Alien Massmurderer. Funny how he played a messiah-like saviour of the human race in The Matrix, now he’s a Jesus-like destroyer of the human race. He plays this character as non-emotional as he can, He succeeds too, making a pile of bricks have more emotion. His character Klaatu acts on logic alone, but his logic is probably alien as he kills a man one minute only to resurrect him the next knowing that the man will be killed again within hours by his robot buddy. That’s almost as mindboggling as the question where the military got that tailormade Big Giant Robot container from. It’s a perfect fit!
Keanu is accompanied by Jennifer Connelly as a scientist and het Stepson played by Jaden Smith. Connelly is as good as she always is. She plays a lot more convincing scientist than Denise Richards does, but then again, so does that same pile of bricks. Her character is just here to function as a link between the alien and the government who are talking right by eachother. She of course also get to be the inspiration for Klaatu to question his actions… unfortunately that’s where the stepson character comes in who is as annoying as kids in grown-up-movies get. Damn, how I wished he would be erased of the face of the planet. Damn you Keanu, or your robot for holding out on me!
Now it might come off as if I really hated “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, but I don’t. I actually thought that, despite it’s flaws, it was entertaining and it didn’t bore me for a minute. I was really curious to how it would end, although it’s easy to predict how it’s going to end the minute it comes clear the Klaatu can be convinced he doesn’t need to kill us… Too bad though, I wonder how this movie would turn out if he actually did erase humans from Earths entire history. That the endscene would consist of an entire earth empty of humans and their creations, only filled with animals and vegetation. That way it would also be a happy end but a different happy end than we’re used to. Still, loved to see that!