Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This Post spoils movie The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008).

This is not science fiction classic I talked about last post. This seemed to be good time to watch remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still. My plan was to write how much worse this was and how bad this is. This was not as bad as I expected. This is far from original movie but not total disaster. Fact that I watched original few hours before this helped this movie. This movie redid some scenes so faithfully that it helps if you know the scene from original movie. For example scene where Klaatu comes from ufo doesn't make much sense, if you don't remember original movie.  Original movie explained why Klaatu was shot. In this movie he was just shot. Original also explained robots actions in that scene. This movie didn't.

That was one problem of this movie. This wanted to redo scenes from original movie when it didn't suit perfectly to story line. Another is Keanu Reeves. He is perfect as alien who don't think too much about humans. He drops the ball when alien sees that humans are worth saving. He says the words but nothing indicates that he feels like that.

Original movie was about mutually assured destruction. This has more environmentally conscious message. This time Klaatu came to save the earth. His contact on earth tells him that people know where they are heading to, but are not willing to make necessary change to save them and planet. Klaatu sees that if planet dies humans die too and if humans die planet survives. There are so little places capable of containing complex life that every place counts. Klaatu is just doing his job even when he doesn't want to kill people. This is what this movie got right. What comes after Klaatu sets destruction of human race has some problems.

Klaatu tells how he tried to reason with leader of world. Americans didn't let Klaatu to do that. Why that would stop alien that had powers Klaatu had? If he wanted to prevent destruction of human race he could have easily just walked to United Nations head counters. I think other nations would have wanted that and pressured americans to allow that. When he is decides to destroy people this easily it doesn't make much sense why he hangs with humans so long that he almost gets killed himself. We get to set cemetery scene and visit to scientist with blackboard scene. We get to see how single mother and her step son found common ground. Almost when it is too late Klaatu sees that human race is worth saving. He stops destruction sequence, disables all electronics and leaves.

Disabling all electronics doesn't make much sense in this movie. Klaatu did that in original movie to get attention. In this he does that and leaves. He don't stay to give his message. Only few people know what the whole thing was about. Does that mean that earth can only be saved it we stop using electricity? Not a good selling point if movie tries to have environmentally friendly message.

What I really like both in movies is that Klaatu's people is not made better than us. In first one they had to create robot police force that destroys aggressors to prevent themselves destroying each others. In this they change only when they had no other choice. Humans are coming to point where Klaatu's people changed. Klaatu just didn't want to take gamble that we won't change.

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