Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

To be completely honest with you the best thing about this movie were the trailers they showed at the beginning of the movie for the new ‘Star Trek’ movie and the ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ trailer. This is or course is no indication that either of those movies are going to be any good with a clear indication of this being that this movie ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ which also had a fairly rockin’ trailer, but the movie itself… whatever the opposite of ‘rockin’ is… that’s what ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ managed to be.

Based on a the 1951 Sci-Fi Classic which I’ve never seen but has been described to me in excruciating detail by a friend of mine, so I felt like I’ve seen it, our film opens with a brief scene of why the alien Klaatu will end up looking just like Keanu Reeves. Then it’s on to meet super smart astro microbiologist – or something along those lines – Dr. Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) and her extremely bratty stepson Jacob (Jaden Smith). Out of nowhere Dr. Benson is swooped up by the gub-ment and taken to a secret meeting along with a bunch of other scientist, led by her good friend Dr. Michael Grainer (Jon Hamm), as they attempt to track a large space device speeding towards Manhattan at Extinction Level Event speeds.

Similar to the original, the thing lands, a freaky looking alien gets out and tries to make nice, gets shot and is soon followed by a big mean looking Cylon styled robot. Eventually the alien sheds its freaky skin and now looks like Keanu Reeves, tells us his name is Klaatu and requests to speak to our world leaders. Well Regina Jackson (Kathy Bates), the Secretary of Defense says ix-nay to that noise and plans to do some serious Abu Ghraib style interrogation on our alien until Dr. Benson intervenes and manages to set him free.

Now on the loose Klaatu, with the government trying to track him down so they can blow him back to Baaka 7, or wherever the hell he is from, goes about the business of

finishing his mission, which is to save the earth. Not necessarily those who inhabit the earth because it would seem you numbskulls – note how I cleverly exclude myself – are screwing everything up. Somehow, someway Dr. Benson must convince Klaatu that you humans can change and that simply eradicating y’all from the planet, via death by GORT, is really not a viable option. Deep dialog and sentimental garbage will soon follow.

Now personally, I was thinking with Dr. Benson looking like she does, and with Klaatu being a brand new fully grown human male, complete with human desires like the need to eat a tuna fish sandwich… I’m thinking there probably was an easy way to change his mind that could have been beneficial for the both of them. And even if it wasn't all that enjoyable for Dr. Benson she seriously needed to consider taking one for the team. But then that’s just me thinking out the box again. And since this clown loved the earth and the things in it so much should he really be eating Tuna? There were other meatless items in that vending machine. Hypocrite. Unfortunately this is the game we have to play to try to squeeze some entertainment value out of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ as it mainly suffers from the crime of being terribly boring. Now it didn’t start off this way as director Scott Derrickson had crafted a movie with a fine beginning to it’s eco-friendly narrative which certainly keeps an audience interested in what’s about to happen. And then you wait. You know something is going to happen and you know it’s gonna be good because it just has to be with all of this long, drawn out and protracted setup. While you wait for this amazing thing to happen we do have to suffer through Dr. Benson’s strained relationship with the world’s brattiest kid and witness Keanu Reeves soulless, passionless interpretation of what he thinks an alien visitor might be like. So after dealing with all of that, finally we get to the good part… and it was a bunch of… meh. It wasn’t terrible, but after all that waiting and suffering and dealing with all this pro eco babble, it was a bit anti-climactic. And not to spoil it for you but since the onus is on Dr. Benson to show Klaatu another side of humans, and working on the assumption that the movie’s not going to end with the destruction of every single living breathing human, I certainly don’t know what my man exactly saw that changed his mind. Was it the fact that the president tried to incinerate his ass that made him all of the sudden realize that you humans deserve to live? Or maybe it was the super bratty kid. I saw nothing.

So what we have here with ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ is a movie that I’m told is not nearly as good as its predecessor, despite the super fancy special effects and great look that the movie possesses, not to mention a soulful sad-eyed performance by Jennifer Connelly, and also what I hope is Jaden Smith’s performance as a bratty kid because if the boy isn’t acting then Will and Jada are really up against it with that one. Unfortunately due to Keanu’s wooden performance… and we’re talking about an actor who is notoriously wooden by default actually acting wooden, and a narrative that takes way too long to go almost nowhere, we have movie on our hands that’s a fairly grand disappointment.

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