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Movie Reviews

‘Day the Earth Stood Still’ a lame sci-fi remake

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December 23, 2008 | 3,446 views | 7 comments

Starring Keanu Reeves & Jennifer Connelly
Rated PG-13

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 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

Your Opinions and Comments

February 26, 2009 2:56pm
Poorly written, poorly directed movie. The meeting in the Macdonalds was just plain dumb. The plot was simplistic and full of holes. Very poor remake of a si-fi classic. The review was actor bashing, not a good movie review.

Fort Worth  
December 25, 2008 3:57pm
One of the worst movies of the year. What a waste of my money. At least it confirms what everyone has been saying for years: Keanu Reeves is a TERRIBLE actor.

Panos Kokkaris  
December 24, 2008 12:44am
The film was really good and personally i rate it 8/10. Keanu is doing great. At the end of the day.What do you expect? A smiley funny alien walking on earth trying to pre warn people about the end of the world? You are wrong ... More ›

December 23, 2008 11:47am
Yea, I saw it, too, and it was a disappointment ...

San Antonio  
December 23, 2008 11:41am
I saw it, and this movie is a big-time flop---and Keanu Reeves is the biggest reason why. This review is about as "honest" as you can get.

December 23, 2008 10:48am
If you like propaganda, you'll love this movie.

San Antonio  
December 23, 2008 9:16am
I think Neil Pond needs to grow up and learn to do his job. His evaluation was more of a "What can I say bad about Keanu Reeves?" than an objective critique of the movie. Maybe he needs to refresh his understanding ... More ›

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