‘Day the Earth Stood Still’ a lame sci-fi remake
Starring Keanu Reeves & Jennifer Connelly
Keanu Reeves plays an outer-space man on a mission in this big-budget remake of the classic 1951 sci-fi flying-saucer tale.
But newer and bigger isn’t necessarily better. This “Day” is pretty dull and pretty dumb.
Reeve’s performance is laughably wooden, even for an actor widely derided for his flat delivery and lack of range. As an emotionless, expressionless alien walking around in temporary human skin, he may have finally found a role that perfectly suits him.
The special effects aren’t very special, certainly not anywhere near as slam-bang terrifying as you might reasonably expect in a plot about the pending extermination of the world’s population. The storyline is full of holes as big as the glowing-orb spaceship that plops down in New York’s Central Park, disgorging Reeves and a giant robot with one ominous red eye.
Connelly plays an “astro-biologist” who befriends the mysterious visitor, even after it becomes clear that his intentions don’t exactly warrant a welcome mat.
The scripted take-me-to-your-leader dialog is comically stilted, if not unintentionally hilarious, as when Reeves meets up with another human-looking alien...at a McDonald’s. At this intergalactic fast-food summit, they discuss (in serious, subtitled alien-speak) the plan to destroy the human race in order to save the ecologically abused Earth. Little “green” men, indeed!
Can the gorgeous scientist persuade the grim alien to change his mind? Can Kathy Bates, playing the U.S. Secretary of Defense, cripple the giant robot by smashing his ankles with a mallet--oh, wait a minute, that was “Misery.” Can you say, “Would you like some fries to go with that death ray?”
It really doesn’t matter. There’s nothing about this drab, plodding, ludicrously lame remake that compels you to care.
And, in case you’re curious, the world doesn’t actually stand still, not even for an instant. The corners of Keanu Reeves’ mouth, his eyebrows and most of his other facial features, however, remain motionless for almost two hours.
--Neil Pond, American Profile
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December 23, 2008 10:48am
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