Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still: A Four-Sentence Movie Review

I know I saw the original The Day the Earth Stood Still on TV as a child (probably on a Saturday afternoon), but other than the iconic image of the big robot (which I didn't even remember was named Gort), what I mostly remember is that any message that much of science fiction from the 50s and 60s tried to convey was totally lost on a kid who just wanted to see laser guns firing and spaceships zooming through battle. So I didn't carry any nostalgia or affection into this remake.

But as I was watching Keanu Reeves drone his way past Jennifer Connelly's wide-eyed disbelief throughout this new version, I wondered if anyone else would've come up with this story and these characters if they weren't following the blueprint of the original movie, rather than just thinking it would be cool to update the special effects and make the message more pertinent to 2008, and if the answer is no, then what was the point of making this movie? However, I could just be cranky about the borderline criminal underuse of Jon Hamm, whose role could've been played by a Jon Hamm's John Ham sandwich.