Review Rating: 7 out of 10
A modernized remake of the 1951 classic, about an alien visitor come to earth to pass judgement on the whole of the human race.
Okay, so I saw this in the theater. And, well, it’s not bad. Nowhere near worth the hype it generated, just, not bad. Didn’t make me want to throw popcorn at the screen, at the very least.
So, we have the alien who came to earth to save it, in his own odd little way. He’s going to save the earth, bear that in mind, saying nothing about the human race. Keanu Reeves gives a very wooden performance as Klatu, but then, I haven’t seen the original movie, so maybe that’s how the alien is supposed to be. He, after his unprecedented arrival on earth, gets immediately snapped up by the military and subject to all sorts of tests, not that that stops him in any way. And we see, based on how the humans holding him treat him, how Klatu begins thinking that the human race can’t be saved. However, there is something I would like to point out. Through this whole movie, the various reactions that Klatu gets, while usually negative in some way, would be remarkably different if he had landed in another country besides the US. Whether others would immediately attempt to execute the alien, or try to HELP him, is besides the point. Only in America; but I digress.
We have Jennifer Connelly as Helen Benson, a microbiologist of some kind I think, and her stepson, played by Jaden Smith. It’s not as if the son of Will Smith is lacking in acting talent or anything, but frankly I really didn’t care for the character they had him play. But then, the kid who calls the authorities on the alien when the adults aren’t looking, and repeatedly tries to have the alien killed, is bound to be rather annoying.
The graphics are pretty nice, but I was expecting spaceships that rock my world, not glowing balls of light. The plague unleashed on earth though, that was awesome. Most of this movie could be taken as an admonishment to people to treat the earth, and each-other, better. But, as I’ve said before, most people, and me included, don’t go to the movies for a morality lesson.
As remakes go, not bad. Likely to be remembered simply as a better version of that one sci-fi movie where the alien says “Klaatu barada niktu“.
Catch an alien being alienated with The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008) available on Disney+!