The Day The Earth Stood Still: Review of a "Remake"

Saturday night my girlfriend and I went to see the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. To call it a remake is very disingenuous, however. Aside from the name of the movie and the main character being named Klatu, there is almost nothing the same about these two movies. Like many other movies in the 50's and 60's, The Day The Earth Stood Still was an allegory on cold war politics. This doesn't resonate with today's youth, however, so to draw crowds in they needed to update the movie and make it more relevant to issues of today. Thanks to the current liberal hippie agenda of America, that means that the movie is essentially about saving the environment. In the latest trailer for the remake, Keanu Reeves says that "if you live, the Earth dies". This is very contrary to the point of the original movie. For those who are unfamiliar with the original movie, the message that Klatu brings to Earth is that we can do whatever the fuck we want to our planet and they don't care. We can kill each other and the planet and it's all good. But the second we bring our aggression outwards into space, they will fucking destroy us, and presumably the entire planet. There's nothing wrong with wanting to update the movie, but the problem is that nuclear war and total annihilation are much, much more interesting than saving trees. Now that I've address the general message of the movie, it's time to talk details. There are spoilers ahead, but that's alright because you probably aren't going to see this anyway.

There are a few basic problems in this movie. Giant flaws, let's call them. The first flaw: you don't make friends with people before you kill them. In the beginning of the movie, Klatu goes to meet with an agent they sent to the planet 70 years prior to see if they'd change their ways. The agent, played by James Hong who's filmography contains well over 300 entries, reports that they indeed did not change their ways. However, he didn't actually DO anything to make us change our ways. Never even said "Hi, I'm an alien and you should stop destroying your planet". It's not fair for him to pass judgment if he didn't even try to help us first. He tells Klatu to go ahead with the plan of killing us, but that he is going to stay and die. Apparently, there's another side to how destructive we are. We're also full of love and emotion. And like 50 Slim Jims. Regardless, this should really have been the end of the movie. Klatu has his orders, so he can just destroy the world. The end. Movie over. For some unknown reason, however, rather than just immediately killing us all, he starts making friends. Why would you try to make friends with people and then kill them? Don't you think that would make it harder to kill them? At the very least, it would be a waste of your time.

The next one really bothered during the movie, but I don't think anyone else cares. Somehow, Klatu has magically electrical powers. I understand he's an alien, but it's explicitly stated that he has a human body. The human body doesn't do that shit. Having an alien brain doesn't make the body do things it wouldn't either. If I had an IQ of 5,000, that doesn't mean I can turn my skin into diamond or make my bones rubber or anything. The body just doesn't do that. About half the shit that Klatu does in the movie is physically impossible. Oh well.

This problem relates heavily to the first one, but Klatu decides not to destroy humanity FOR NO FUCKING REASON AT ALL. He sees his friend all sad that her son might die, and that changes his mind. Really? You came there to kill them. Of course they're not going to want to die. There was no indication given whatsoever that they would change, and even if there was, it was only 2 people. Klatu did not get his message out to the world at all. He comes to kill everyone, sees us dying, and changes his mind. That's it? Fail.

The final thing I'd like to bitch about isn't a problem, persay. It's more of a letter to all Hollywood writers and directors: CLOUDS ARE NOT SCARY. That's right, G.O.R.T., who is now named that by the army as some sort of stupid acronym, starts off as a 25 foot tall robot, but then turns into a cloud and destroys stuff. Giant robots are much scarier than clouds. House on Haunted Hill had a cloud of anonymous evil and it was awful. Fantastic Four 2 is among the worst movies I've ever seen, and Galactus being a cloud instead of a giant humanoid dealy walking through downtown is equally stupid. I don't know what executive decided that clouds were threatening, but they're not. Oh yeah, and the cloud of evil locusts in this was able to destroy a football stadium in about 3 seconds flat, but Klatu and his new friends had time to run from a crashed car under a bridge through the swarm of insects without being destroyed. The bridge also wasn't destroyed, because that wouldn't have been convenient.

Overall, the movie actually wasn't terrible. It wasn't good by any means, but at least it was well paced so I wasn't bored. I wouldn't recommend it, but it's no Hancock or Pathology.

Klatu Verada Nikto

© 2008 by Dr. Jeebus