Archive for December 12th, 2008

12
Dec
08

If you’re thinking of seeing The Day the Earth Stood Still, don’t!

I don’t know why I keep doing it to myself. I let myself get all excited about some big Hollywood event movie, when I’m ultimately just building myself up for a fall. I think it’s because the original is such a celebrated classic that I told myself Hollywood would allow itself to fuck this one up. How could I have been so stupid?

Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of the original. I recognise its importance, and its fabulous timely message, but it has never been essential viewing for me. So I didn’t except to be too upset if they changed much. But upset I was. Obviously, the Cold War couldn’t be used for the premise, so some vague references to the environment were employed. This would have been fine had the whole thing not been made like an underwritten episode of Captain Planet. The aliens in the original had a real, understandable argument: fight among yourselves if you must, but don’t bring your space rockets into it. In this case, however, Klaatu just comes across as a patronising little fuck, like someone who comes into your home uninvited and tells you how you should decorate.

What I missed about the orginal most of all, however, was the politcal discussion inspired by the arrival of a spaceship, replaced here by the typical military men who try to blow everything up because it’s all they know how to do. It’s all been seen a hundred times before, turning an important sci-fi film with something to say into a below-average thriller. This being said, The Day the Earth Stood Still doesn’t fail because it disrespects the original. It’s awful all on its own. You may never have heard of this film before, and it’ll still be a boring, uninspired waste of a night out.

Thankfully, I made up for it by sneaking into Lakeview Terrace afterwards, which is better than I expected it to be. I suggest you go see that instead.