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The Day The Earth Stood Still Review

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The Day The Earth Stood Still

20th Century Fox

PG 13 110 min





Ever since Columbus was warned about sailing off the edge of the world there have been hysterical predictions of the end of the earth that, like the reports of WC Fields’ death, turn out to have been greatly exaggerated.

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, a pre apocalyptic cult favorite came out in the good old days of the cold war. If you’re counting that was fifty-seven years ago.

Politics haven’t changed much since then and for the record the earth is still here.

Back in 1951, a spaceship lands near Washington and Klaatu (Michael Rennie) pops out with a message of hope for the people of Earth. The message is that if all the people don’t join hands and sing Kumbaya, that they’ll all be wiped out for their own good. Of course paranoia rules the day and he’s shot and imprisoned for interrogation.

As for the message of peace and harmony it looks like none of the world leaders will agree to join together long enough to hear it. Armageddon is on the way, that is unless a pretty doctor can persuade the intergalactic hit squad to give us another chance.

Well today the story hasn’t changed a lot, besides the upgraded special effects and a new cast which unfortunately features the talent challenged Keanu Reeves.

To be fair, Reeves’ lack of expression and wooden delivery seem to fit the role of a space traveler unaccustomed to human emotions. Then again it means you’ll probably have more empathy for Gort, the giant robot.

Kathy Bates and Jennifer Connelly are both quality actors but one would never guess it from this dog. Word on the street is that Bates had two weeks to shoot and did little more than repeat director Scott Derrickson’s lines.

Jordan Smith is especially annoying as Connelly’s stepson, and I assume he’s there because the producer or director wanted to suck up to his father Will Smith.

The script itself, staggering under the weight of self importance is chock full of buzzwords including “change” and “tipping point” and drones on like an Al Gore interpretation of Chicken Little.

Maybe a lighter hand or a touch of humor could have made this morality play more palatable but that didn’t happen.

As it is you’re better off to rent the original and watch it in your bomb shelter.






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