Movie Review Rewind: The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

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The original The Day the Earth Stood Still came out in 1951. I have never seen that version, but I assume it is probably better than this remake. Of course, very few remakes are actually better than the original. And I bet the original was groundbreaking for its time considering the technology the filmmaker had available.

This one does the same with what it has. Well tries to anyway. This movie is all about special EFX. It really consumes the movie, but there is only one problem: The EFX aren’t really that good. They’re not terrible, but we would all agree we’ve seen better. The movie stars Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly. Connelly really tries to show emotion so we know she cares about what is going on. You can’t blame her for trying. Reeves’ career always seems to get insulted because of his acting – or the lack thereof. But he is not bad here.

He plays an alien so it is actually perfect for him. Now it would have been nice to see just a little bit of feeling with his character, especially in the end, but forget about it. The biggest issue is trying to send a message and making it relevant today with the whole environmental issue. Yet, it really has no focus on that at all.

Take away the special EFX and director Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) has nothing left to show. The story is dense and the movie falls flat. It’s a lesson learned for movies who want to use technology. Please do not use it just to use it. With that said, if you are going to then make damn sure it’s up to par. If it is not then what’s left is a very disappointed audience. Unfortunately, the newest The Day the Earth Stood Still seems to be fine with that.

“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.

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