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The Day The Earth Stood Still December 22, 2008

Posted by Shujath in English, Movies, Reviews.
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If you ever wanted to find out how it would be if the Earth stood still, then step right into the nearest theater where this film is playing. And mind you, it is not the doomed earthlings in the film for who the earth stands still but the viewers who paid to sit through this. Honestly, prior to its release no one seemed to have great expectations from this flick and I ventured only with the hope of catching a mindless VFX filled saga. Alas, that wasn’t to be. In fact, it kept reminding me a lot about another awful disaster movie 10,000 B.C which came out at the beginning of the year.

Supposed to be a remake of an old 1951 film, TDTESS is about some alien race who sends their representative Klaatu in human form (Keanu Reeves) to Earth in order to set in motion a series of events which will save the Earth from destruction by humans. He lands on Earth in a giant sphere shaped UFO guarded by a huge Iron Man lookalike. Initially Klaatu wants to address the United Nations but once his request is denied he is quite pissed off. A few more belligerent actions by earthlings convince Klaatu of his mission. There’s one biologist Helen (Jennifer Connelly) who seems sympathetic to him and tries to help but on realizing his intentions she now tries to convince him – with the help of a Noble Prize winning Professor (John Cleese) that humans always change in favorable ways whenever they are on the “brink of disaster”. Klaatu isn’t convinced and meanwhile some mechanical locusts begin their saga of destruction. What is it that finally makes Klaatu change his mind?

To find out the mindblowing answer either watch the movie or if you have been unlucky enough to have seen this film, you should be able to take a correct guess (Clue: Helen has a stepson). TDTESS is such a hopeless film that you don’t even feel like hating it. It does such a wonderful job of not offering a single inspiring moment that you never really make the mistake of expecting something from it. The CGI work also isn’t impressive – especially the UFO and giant robot look quite tacky.

If you’ve noticed, the number of reviews for this film appearing on the web have been less than the number of articles about Keanu Reaves’ limited facial expressions (some Bollywood producer should take a cue and remake this with John Abraham). The other prominent cast including Jennifer Connelly, John Cleese and Kathy Bates are no better either. Bates – used as a stand in for the usual “US President in a Disaster Movie” role looks especially embarrassed being a part of this venture. Watch this only if you are having problems falling asleep.