Hey, remember this movie? A lot of people look at remakes of classic movies and say, “What’s the point?” It’s a good question. Are remakes necessary? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. I’d much rather sit in a dark movie theater and turn my brain off for an hour and a half.
In The Day the Earth Stood Still, the planet is besieged by floating spheres and the alien Klaatu – deftly played by the robotic Keanu Reeves – who announces that because of their poo-pooing of the environment, humans have been weighed in the balance, and found wanting. Balancing out Keanu’s solid-as-a-rock performance is Jennifer Connelly, who has to convince Klaatu that humans aren’t all that bad, if only they’d give them a chance. Will we survive? I’ll give you two guesses, but you’re only going to need one.
Now, the fanboy in me jumped up and cheered when I first saw the trailer for this one. It looks really slick, and the premise held a lot of potential. Unfortunately, that’s about as far as it went. A lot of potential that really wasn’t lived up to. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I found the movie unenjoyable, but when it was over, I felt like there was a good chunk I hadn’t been shown. In the beginning, Klaatu believes that humans are destroying the planet, and should themselves be destroyed, then he doesn’t. Certain plot points, including a really good exchange with John Cleese, are really never followed.
While the original movie was an indictment of the US/Soviet arms race and nuclear weapons in general, this is takes aim at our environmental problems. I’m sure there are a good chunk of reviewers who say they didn’t like the movie because it was too “preachy.” It’s a word that’s thrown around way too much with these sorts of movies. Are movies not allowed to talk about the environment and how badly we’re screwing it up just because they might sound preachy? Who cares? Saying, “Well that’s just too preachy,” doesn’t negate the fact that it’s true. And if you’re not going to like the movie, there are plenty of other reasons besides a PSA on the environment.
In the end, a movie that’s well-acted, and interesting to a point, but if they were only going to off half-cocked, they probably should have just left well enough alone. Because this one is no longer in theaters, skip going to the theaters for this one. C+