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The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Director:Scott Derrickson
Cast:Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, Jaden Smith, John Cleese, Sunita Prasad
Release Date:2008
Genre:Drama, Science fiction

By Robert Ignizio | Posted 12/17/2008

Director Robert Wise exercised subtlety and taste with his 1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still--one of that era's few science-fiction movies that can still play to modern audiences as something other than camp--putting story and character ahead of special effects and action. That can't be said about Scott Derrickson's remake. Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) has been sent to earth by a coalition of alien races to save the planet. Whether that includes saving human beings as well is of considerably less importance. It certainly doesn't argue in humanity's favor when Klaatu steps off his glowing space orb only to be greeted by unprovoked gunfire and imprisonment. But not everyone is so judgmental. The alien finds an ally in scientist Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) who helps him escape. At this point, the movie turns into a fairly typical action/chase movie, with a useless subplot about Benson's stepson (Jaden Smith) coping with the death of his father. Derrickson tries to cover up the essential emptiness of this movie with noise and spectacle--it's not enough to have the earth stand still, there has to be mass CGI death and destruction too. Stay home and rent the original instead.

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