Sunday, 21 December 2008

The Day The Earth Didn't Quite Stand Still!

Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: David Scarpa and
Edmund H. North
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly,
Jaden Smith, John Cleese

The Day The Earth Stood Still is a remake of the 1951 sci-fi film of the same name. The current film starts with a large orb like egg that lands on the earth in New York. Out pops an alien called Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) and a giant robot called Gort (No man in a suit this time just CGI). Klaatu has come to the earth to negotiate with the world leaders about saving the planet from global warming. Things don’t go to plan (When do they ever go to plan in films!) and Klaatu is taken hostage by the U.S Military. He escapes with the help of Dr. Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) and the two of them along with Helen’s son Jacob (Jaden Smith) go on a journey that tests the limit of life itself. During this time Klaatu has set about the destruction of the human race, but slowly learns about humanities greatest features!

The main substantial differences between the original and the remake is the eras the two films were made in. The original was made right after the Second World War with the main message and reason for Klaatu’s arrival being peace to earth or be destroyed. Because the rest of the universe felt threatened by humanity. The remake however is about global warming and are fears and anxieties towards it. Klaatu has come to earth to help humanity to stop the destruction of the planet otherwise humanity will be purged from existence. This shows sci-fi doing what it does best and that is reflecting on the society from the era that it was made.
The entirety of the film though is spent on trying to persuade Klaatu not to destroy humanity because we are worthy of being saved. Saved because of humanities ability to love. The broken mother and son relationship between Helen and Jacob plays a significant role. Jacob plays an even bigger role as he single handily represents humanity and its violence towards the unknown.

There is only one actor who could play Klaatu and that had to have been Keanu Reeves. With his deadpan emotionless acting he becomes a very believable alien. Maybe he is an alien? Who knows! The film offers some spectacular special effects, watching an entire football stadium disintegrate was incredible. But apart from that TDTESS offers little in the way of action or even suspense to become an edge of your seat thriller or fully blown action blockbuster.
You think well is it not ignorant of us to make a film about how great humanity is, while forgetting about famine, poverty, war, greed as long as we love and love life everything will be fine. The film offers us answers to questions we already know and should know or have we really forgotten and need reminding? The choice once again, is yours.

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