The Day The Earth Stood Still
Pitched as a “contemporary reinvention of the 1951 science fiction classic”, ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ is a surprisingly compelling story of the sudden and somewhat final call to accountability to the human race. In what starts out as a trademark ‘Alien Invasion’ cinematic tale, we see a collection of strange energy spheres appearing all over the planet. As is usually the case, we see the American’s take charge of the international situation with an overpoweringly cocky attitude that further indicts the human race towards judgment. After all why not put together a crack team of the world’s brightest scientists (Who all seem to be American) in order to investigate and dissect the new and somewhat ominous spheres.
Enter the Alien, ‘Klaatu’ played by Keanu Reeves in his usual blank emotion-less serious manner. Now normally I might begin the critique of the two dimensional acting of Reeves, however as in ‘The Matrix’, it actually works for style and feel of “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. As he comes out in a strange biological suit he is met with resistance as he is shot by one of the multitudes of police, army and swat teams surrounding the landing site. This is where we see the captivating character of Dr Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) develop in intense connection with the alien. Connelly shows great class in her role of Dr Benson as she struggles to balance her desire for scientific answers with her natural instinct to protect her son (Played by Will Smith’s son Jayden Smith)
Now we get down to the nitty gritty of the film. The special effects and cinematography works well and create a nice consistency as the story unfolds. The acting is generally fine. The pace and flow of the film stands up and aids the unfolding of the plot to connect the audience with the general theme of needless destruction of the planet without being overly emotional about a topic that has generally crated such immense polarity of views and opinions worldwide, that of the impact of humanity on the planet.
The Verdict: Solid but not amazing cinema. An enjoyable film that does what it sets out to do, in merging science fiction with a social conscience.
Reviewed by: Jon E Clist
Releases: 11th Dec
Rating: M – Medium Level Violence
Running time: 104 minutes
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates & Jayden Smith.