Or: The Day Keanu Reeves Acted Woodenly But This Time It Was In Character (Because He Was An Alien)
Ok so against popular opinion (and the often accurate portent of it only being advertised a matter of weeks before release) I decided it might be a good idea to go and see the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still. Was it the right decision? Only time (and some SPOILERS) will tell!
Firstly, I’d read a few reports that the CG in this film wasn’t up to scratch, but really for the most part it was fine. In some places: actually quite good! Never seriously problematic.
As the original carried a message of anti-nuclear-war (one which, having not seen the original, I can’t comment on the execution or effectiveness of), so this carries a timely warning to society, albeit a very weak, very rubbish one: OMGZ NOES WE ARE KILIN TEH PLANIT KWIK DO SUMFIN B4 WE ALL DIE LOL. That just about sums up the gravity of the statement.
Now, I’m not usually one to enjoy a message, especially not a rubbish one, and in this case it’s made worse, due to some bullshit: pivotal point in the plot occurs when K. Reeves (the alien who came to decide once and for all if we needed to be exterminated in order to save the planet, principally by talking to an old oriental man (in a terrible accent) who was actually an alien plant for 70 years (played by the only aging oriental guy in the world, if Hollywood films are to be believed)) witnesses our main non-alien protagonists crying about their dead husband/father, and for some reason decides that because of this we as a species can change and should be given a chance to fix Earth ourselves. Hello what? Maybe I’m John T. Stupid but I really don’t see the connection between crying over a dead relative and a species being capable of un-fucking-up its planet. Hello?
So, that really does nause things up. There then follows some very nice effects, whereby the aliens release a bunch of nanites which zoom around ripping everything to shit, but these sequences don’t last anywhere near long enough, or contain enough people being ripped to shit; it’s all structures, man! Where’s the fun in that? K. Reeves then kills himself (or does he?) and the aliens fly away. As far as we see, they never bother to return the samples of animal life that they Noah’s Ark-style kidnapped earlier in the film, either.
There’s some sense to be found though: the aliens’ reason for valuing the planet over its smelly inhabitants is that there’s only a handful of life-supporting planets in the universe, and they can’t afford to let us fuck this one up. Which y’know is some sound reasoning, that is if you assume all the ‘damage’ we’re doing to the planet is not only just going to kill us, but somehow going to prevent any life from ever forming here ever again. Ok so maybe not the best reasoning in the world (universe!!!1).
TL;DR pfft pretty poor. I score it 23 out of 106 planks of wood.
P.S. There’s also the usual stock of sudden scientific revelations based on nothingness and false assumptions, and too much lovey-dovey-ness.