The Day the Earth Stood Still Reviews
The story centers on blue orbs coming down from space and landing of course in New York City. Not any place in NYC but Central Park. Clearly the United States and the President of the United States even to the aliens is the center of 'civilization.' The orbs do settle in other places but not nearly important enough to get more than 2 seconds of screen time. Because of these mysterious orbs doctors of biology, chemistry and a civil engineer get called upon by the FBI to help investigate what's going on. Dr. Benson, a professor of astrobiology, is one of those chosen few. She however is also a step mother of Jacob. Jacob's father who was also her husband died so the two are not blood related but she cares for him nonetheless even though he doesn't return that affection. Dr. Benson goes to see the blue orb with the other doctors and what emerges is a gigantic killer robot and a small space alien with the human DNA of Keanu Reeves. He and his fellow robot friend are taken in for testing but Benson helps him escape knowing that the secretary of defense (played by Kathy Bates) will only want to destroy him and not listen to what he has to say. Benson, Jacob and Klaatu drive around and discover more about each other. Benson realizes that Klaatu's plan is to destroy all of the humans who are killing earth in order to keep earth a green planet. Benson tries to convince him otherwise but when she does it's too late and the plan already started. The giant robot turns into trillions of little metal eating bugs destroying anything man made or human in its path (we even get the typical I am Legend scene when the bugs kill the unsuspecting scientist and the evil government agent watches not letting him out, and then the evil government agent gets killed by said bugs). Benson and Jacob who have been fighting for the whole movie finally reconcile their differences because they realize that they have to put up with each other for the rest of their lives which makes Keanu or 'Klaatu' realize that humans are worth saving. He sacrifices himself to save earth.
Yes this movies has plot holes. One of them being why didn't the government call on Dr. Benson's doctor friend who Klaatu sees and befriends later in the movie? But for all its plot holes the cast really carries this movie. Keanu Reeves plays a great unfeeling alien because he himself is good at not showing much emotion. Jennifer Connelly plays a convincing doctor as well as a strong mother showing that women can do it all. The fact that the secretary of defense and the main lead are women without shoving it down your throat is extremely refreshing. These types of movies where women are just strong characters without the script hammering it in with lines 'for a girl' or 'girl power' are my favorites.
In addition to the mainly feminine cast it is also racially diverse. Keanu Reeves is Asian and maybe this does play into the fact that the Asian American stereotype is that we are unfeeling robots but either way he does talk in mandarin with James Hong (Mr. Ping from Kung Fu Panda) and it's amazing (because who doesn't love James Hong?!). Benson as a white step mother and Jacob as her African American son helps blended families as well as racially diverse families be seen. It would have been great to see flashbacks of the African American father to show a black man with a white woman but I think it works over all. Maybe it does add to the stereotype that blended families are dysfunctional but it also shows that sometimes maybe water can be thicker than blood.
All of the sci-fi alien clichés aside the movie has no love story. There's no sexual tension with Klaatu or Benson or Benson falling in love with a fellow scientist, it's all platonic or familial which we almost never see in movies starring a male or female lead. In male centered movies it's even more of a requirement just to show that the man isn't queer. But the great thing about this movie is that it doesn't force a love story. It doesn't really force a lot of things since it heavily relies on old movie tropes like killing humans to make a better earth, trying to convince the alien humans are good, and self-sacrifice but those are all done well because of the cast.
I give The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) an 8.5/10. It's cliché but just edgy enough to keep me interested and entertained. The familiar plot doesn't distract but almost fades into the background to let the actors shine. Plus, some points like the aliens landing in New York City can be laughable and fun.
sci-fi history were NEVER SAID. The original was uplifting positive
while this version was dark and depressing. I have stop, I don't to go on a rant. Please watch original and burn this one.