Film review: The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), directed by Scott Derrickson
I haven’t seen the original film from the 1950s so I had no expectations or could quote that Klaatu wossname wossname thing. Which is probably just as well, because looking at the trailer on YouTube for the old one … well, it didn’t exactly look impressive now, did it? I’m assured the film’s a lot better than its trailer, but still.
Good special effects (something I haven’t mentioned about the other three recent films I’ve reviewed over the weekend, but it applies to them as well), interesting story and a thoughtful message. Yes, we’re screwing this planet over and yes, we should do something about it. Preferably before an alien life form decides we need to be exterminated for the common good.
A sphere lands in New York’s Central Park. Out comes a humanoid alien creature, who gets shot, because that’s what people with guns tend to do – overreact. A huge humanoid … thing walks out, eyes like a Cylon and sparkling like a Twipyre, and cures him from the shot. Then it stands guard outside the sphere while the alien (Keanu Reeves) gets on with getting chummy with the locals – particularly an astrobiologist (Jennifer Connelly) and an exceedingly annoying child (Jaden Smith, whose real-life daddy Will also knows how to deal with aliens on screen, of course!). Yes, Jacob annoyed the crap out of me as a character. Too whiny and bitchy for the most part, but I warmed up to him at the end … sort of. It was too little too late by then.
Keanu Reeves was, well, as stoney-faced as ever, really. (Haven’t seen him in a cravat I don’t think, but be he does carry off a period uniform pretty well in Much Ado About Nothing …) Didn’t really take a huge amount of acting there, to be fair, but yeah. Not much to say. There were a couple of cute guys too. Jaden’s at least 20 years too young for my liking, or maybe make that 30. Keanu’s definitely not ugly, and he has the most ridiculously brown eyes … I think I just forgot what I was going to say. Ahem. No, the ones I was thinking of were, from what I can tell by the pictures, Jon Hamm and Kyle Chandler.
KATHY BATES was in this film! Woohoo! There’s one of my favourite actresses right there! Her character was also on the annoying side, but in that sort of position, I suppose you don’t really have a choice! Still, great to see her on screen again. And John Cleese, of course. Always a treat!
Jennifer Connelly had great hair. Most people in this movie seemed to have dark hair. What was up with that? The exceptions were like … Kathy Bates and John Cleese. Pretty much. Still, if the cast mainly consists of tall, dark and handsome ladies and gentlemen, who am I to complain?
All in all, an enjoyable film. If people decide to wake up and become better people and decide to help in changing the world from having watched it, so much the better. I liked it.
3.4 out of 5 extinctions.