The Day the Earth Stood Still

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(2008)

Film4: Wednesday 10 June, 6.55pm

The Nasa boffins have got it wrong – that spaceship isn’t crashing into Central Park… it’s landing. With more smoke and lights than a Pink Floyd stage show, as it happens. And the alien that emerges is shot. Welcome to Earth, mate. In fact, the whole human race comes out of this movie looking pretty stupid. Which is some feat when the alien emissary is none other than Keanu Reeves, who began his screen career acting dumb in the Bill & Ted comedies. And Keanu’s performance here is so inert that it’s weird when he breaks into a run. 20th Century Fox’s remake of their 1951 Cold War classic is an abject example of how to turn cinematic gold into dross. The shameless product placement doesn’t help, but the real damage is done by a dumbed-down script that can’t tell the difference between telling a story simply and being simplistic. Even the giant robot Gort (Genetically Organized Robotic Technology) is a bust, an obviously fake computerized effect that’s much less compelling than the shiny metallic object in the original. In 1951, The Day the Earth Stood Still was to The Thing from Another World as ET would be to The Thing in 1982. But this abject thing never draws us into its world, committing a couple of cardinal sci-fi sins along the way: it’s unconvincing and it’s unintentionally funny. Put together as chaotically as Nicole Kidman’s notorious 2007 sci-fi flop The Invasion, it breaks the biggest rule of all: it’s dull as ditchwater. Klaatu barada nikto!

Certificate: 12
Duration: 99min

Other Showings Time & Date
Film4 Sunday, 14 June at 1:00PM