Epic action and mind-blowing effects rock the planet in this thrilling reinvention of the sci-fi classic, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. Keanu Reeves portrays Klaatu, an otherworldly being whose arrival on Earth triggers an unstoppable series of events that threaten all of mankind. In a desperate attempt to save humanity, governments and scientists race to unravel the mystery behind the visitor’s appearance. When a woman (Jennifer Connelly) and her young stepson find themselves embroiled in the alien’s plan, they become the world’s only hope to stave off apocalyptic annihilation.
The Day The Earth Stood Still seemed to promise to be a fast pace sci-fi thriller from the looks of the trailer, and being a remake of a well-loved 1950’s classic had tons of fans excited as well. But do the new special effects, the new cast, and the subtle script changes hold up to its promise? Not exactly.
The Day The Earth Stood Still is a rather intense and dramatic story that focuses on Earth being visited by an alien life form that has decided Earth must be saved before it’s destroyed. The catch is humankind has to be destroyed in order to save the planet. It’s up to one woman (Jennifer Connelly) and her stepson to somehow convince the alien visitor (Keanu Reeves) who also comes in human form (thanks to some DNA borrowing) that Earth is indeed worth saving. The movie sets forth the idea that when, on the edge of disaster, civilizations are forced to change in order to survive. Connelly’s character argues that mankind should be given the same chance to change as well. Only is there enough time to convince the alien visitor, and will he even be able to stop the elimination if he is convinced.
All in all, the film isn’t that bad and the effects are certainly mind-blowing. There’s a decent story and a strong message behind the central plot, but it’s the actual script that seems to be lacking. Jennifer Connelly does a nice job, even though she seems eerily out of place. Keanu Reeves gives a cold and detached performance which seems befitting since he’s playing an alien, but even so there seems to something missing that would really help to believe him in this role. The rest of the cast, though there are some notable names, just seem to fade into the background since the script itself doesn’t really give them a chance to shine.
The release is worth picking up though. 20th Century Fox was smart with this Blu-ray release. They threw in not only the remake and a digital version of the film, but also the 1951 original film, also on Blu-ray. So if the new film doesn’t float your boat, you can pop in the original and see it’s more your style.
There’s also a decent amount of special features worth mentioning such as commentary with the screenwriter, deleted scenes, still galleries, a documentary on re-imagining this film from the basis of the original, and a handful of featurettes that will keep you entertained.
Review by Emma Loggins