The Day the Earth Stood Still

Out Now On-Demand

The 1951 original that earned cult status lands itself a slick modern remake. In that instance, an alien, Klaatu, and his robot counterpart, Gort, travelled to earth to warn us of the dangers of nuclear weapons in the cold war age, but the message has been updated for the twenty first century, now aimed at our destruction of the environment.

Keanu Reeves stars as Klaatu, a "friendly" being from a distant intergalactic location. Governments and scientists race to unravel the mystery behind his appearance, and his claims to know of an impending attack on Earth. Astro-biologist Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) and her son (Jaden Smith) get caught up in Naatu's mission.

Trailers

Directed by

Written by

Science Fiction

104mins

Rating: M contains medium level violence

USA

Official Site

It ain't the 50s no more, thank God, so here's your shiny new remake of the apocalyptic sci-fi cult classic just in time for Christmas. Keanu Reeves is Klaatu, a mysterious being from a far off intergalactic location who may know something about those strange orbs that are popping up all over the face of the earth. If he does, it'll be Jennifer Connelly as astro-biologist Helen Benson who gets to the bottom of any potential alien invasions.

So the stage is set for an epic effects laden battle for supremacy. That is until the story swerves away from its conventional action set up and instead turns into a moralising diatribe about the need to change our behaviour and respect mother earth. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself as the message is definitely a valid one. However, making the trailer, marketing material and first half of the film look like false advertising to bludgeon the audience with social commentary seems iffy at best. You're left hankering for blockbuster spectacles that never arrive.

On the plus side, distant, emotionless Klaatu is the role Keanu Reeves with his wooden acting style was born to play. Back handed compliments ahoy! Jaden Smith on the other hand is the most grating child actor doing the rounds and makes you hope the anti-smacking bill is overturned.

Green crusaders like Jeanette Fitzsimmons, Al Gore et al will no doubt love the message of the movie. Conversely, the average movie fan may not be as happy with the fact that it cuts into the precious escapist entertainment time they were promised.

Chicago Sun-Times [Roger Ebert]

press

All this is presented in an expensive, good-looking film that is well-made by Scott Derrickson, but to no avail.

Dominion Post [Graeme Tuckett]

press

It's rubbish.

Empire [UK]

press

A remake that does not disgrace the original, this is sufficiently different to stand alone and just as relevant in its concerns – as well as succeeding (arguably better) as a thriller. And after this performance, are we sure that Keanu Reeves is really human?

Los Angeles Times

press

This contemporary remake of the science-fiction classic knew what it was doing when it cast Keanu Reeves, the movies' greatest stone face since Buster Keaton.

Salon.com [USA]

press

A jumble of spare parts and leftover dialogue, as if it had been assembled out of unused bits of every movie where an unknown whatzit threatens our way of life and the government goes into full institutional pants-crapping panic mode.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

press

Surprise! The remake is not a heresy. It's a decent enough stab at being what the old movie was to its time, following the same basic plot, full of respectful references to its model, updated with a gallery of fairly imaginative special effects.

TV3 [Kate Rodger]

press

Steer well clear and rent the original instead.

Variety [USA]

press

This botched remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" seriously dishonors the seriously fine 1951 sci-fi landmark on which it's based.

Do not rent

user


Do not rent

Jaden Smith ruined it for us.

Better than 2001

user


Better than 2001

this film is the best. better than the Godfather

great acting

a must see

Complete tripe !

user


Complete tripe !

The original is far supeior to this updated piece of rubbish. Far darker, and murderously gruesome. A waste of Film.

Best send this to FILE 13 where this does truly belong.

Que?!

user


Que?!

You high Bob?

Great!

user


Great!

Great!

Yes not great but I learned.....

user


Yes not great but I learned.....

Well there is a lot to be said about the plot and the graphics and acting etc. Kinda left like same ol' same ol' BUT I did learn something from the script, and that is- only at the final stages of an event, we change. So take whatever you want out of that but I don't think its that bad if a movie makes you think. Even if the idea behind it wasn't direct. So go see it from different prospectives. I came out thinking - oh well average!!


Winning Idea Turns To Garbage

The original TDTESS was a rare gem in the 1950s; A story taken from a science fiction magazine, turned into an inteeligent if slow-paced movie about what first constact with a technologically superior and pacifist alien culture would be like. Updating it to serve an ecological turn of thinking might have been done well, as the work of John Varley and other SF writers has shown.

Sadly, this film, which I will grace with the kudos for getting some great lines for Keanu Reeves as Klaatu and some nicely-done nanotechnology SFX, is not done well at all even as a low-budget SF film. While others point at the lack of explosions and death which is a more fitting critique of the last DIE HARD film, the script fails to engage the charcater of Klaatu as little more than a sort of Galactic Eurocrat or a polite Eco-terrorist; The key point is when the moral paradoxes pointed out in his actions are dissected ( By a character played by John Cleese, of all people ), he blithely disregards them with a flippancy equal to and Nuremburg defendant about following orders. Even the motivation of 'preserving' planets in life zones falls apart under the examination of any child interested in astronaomy, sinc eit is not only unlikely, but since the nanaotechnology demonstarted is so effective could be cured by terraformation of unlivable worlds into habitable ones - Klaatu's people are like someone using a gun to force people to hunt down and kill animals with their bare hands for food.

I will not even mention th eidiocy involved with the name of Gort the robot, and will refrain from saying it's acting is more expressive than Reeve's at most points. I insist that anyone thinking of seeing this film would do better to see the original instead.

i want 2 hours of my life back.

user


i want 2 hours of my life back.

I love sci-fi but this is truly a terrible movie. Nothing much happens. Cringe worthy script. Bad acting throughout. I went in case the couple of bad reviews I read were off centre. Don't make the same mistake.