By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The The Day the Earth Stood Still remake is not bad. This is not the King Kong sort of remake where they just do extraordinary things. It's not the Manchurian Candidate sort either. It's just acceptable.
Review: The Day the Earth Stood Still
It's really true to the tone of the 1951 original, that two people running around talking about philosophical concepts with a stranger. They are doing the talky drama. They ask intriguing questions with no answers. They have real actors doing the paranoid government types so at least they make some sense.
There's more spectacle peppered throughout this version but they haven't sold out the intellectual side just because they can blow more sh*t up. The CGI GORT is just silly. Making a '50s sci-fi robot enormous doesn’t make it more realistic, although explaining its name is a cute modern wink.
People will make fun of Keanu Reeves for being monotone as Klaatu but that's the point. He's being deliberate. Come on, he's proved his range. You've got to believe that he's removed all inflection for artistic reasons, and it works for an alien. He also gets the Matrix goo birth again.
Some of the buildup is boring. Mysterious exploration isn't so mysterious, and all the secretive government talk is bleh. Just get to it already. But the film as a whole has weight and stillness.
Even the random attacks on GORT by helicopters and containment units are slow and methodical, not big action. Brutality still happens in a '50s matter of fact way.
This time it's about the environment instead of the military. That hardly makes it original, as we've seen lots of movies condemning our abuse of the planet. But this one does it Day the Earth Stood Still style.