The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

I’m wondering why Keanu Reeves accepted the lead role in this film because it’s so similar to the story line of his character, Neo, from The Matrix.  I’ve seen and taught The Matrix so many times it’s not funny. I’ve only ever seen one other film more times than The Matrix and that’s The Neverending Story.  So as I was watching this film, although clearly the main story line was different, I couldn’t help but think to myself: type-cast!

My point is that the “birth” of Reeves’ character in this film is lamely similar to Neo’s pod-awakening in The Matrix. And, he’s a “savior” in both films.  I’m just saying that there oughta be some new ideas out there. 

Honestly, the main thing I wanted to say about this film is a critique of filmmaking today: when did our imaginations become so non-functioning that filmmakers stopped making movies with metaphors in them? This film had no subtext. It was all clear: change your dirty ways, Earthlings, or you’ll kill the planet. I mean, are we that stupid that we have to have it told to us literally? Where’s the metaphor? Where’s the allegory? Where’s the thinking hard about it to figure things out?

I know what you’re thinking: but they were using allegory when they had the aliens come to kill us. Not good enough.

This all stood out the most especially with all of the politicians and their poor decision-making skills, like the intent-to-torture and their idiotic decisions to attack the sphere and its protector. Clearly, the filmmakers have captured the idiocy of politicians with this.  Big surprise.

I guess what I’m saying here is that I’m disappointed that a filmmaker could type-cast Keanu Reeves using the Matrix model, and yet still make a crappy movie. 


4 thoughts on “The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

  1. To be fair, though I haven’t seen it, the remake comes by its obviousness earnestly: the Robert Wise original is pretty blatantly moralistic as well.

  2. I’m cool with moralism in films; actually, I think it’s entirely necessary. I’m just ranting because for Keanu to go from Neo/The Matrix to this character/film, shows a major decline in his choices for quality films.

    I support this further by pointing out that although I think product placement is generally annoying, in this film, they had a nice, quaint scene in a McDonalds over a McCafe hot tea… So save the world, and have a McCafe at the same time!


  3. VERY LAME. I concur with your take on lack of imagination or depth, but even on the surface it was just badly produced. Spend a million on the trailer then a few bucks on actually bringing the story line out of the script to the screen. Oh yeah, throw in a hastily forged relationship between Reeves and that dumb kid with this INDESTRUCTIBLE force somehow sparing the planet because of a fellow aliens ‘feelings’ is a joke… Almost as bad as that other movie that was supposed to be a symbol of what happened on 9/11. See…it was so bad I intentionally forgot the name.

    I’d rather have something like Independence day where the action made up for the lack of depth.. At least that way you get your entertainment and the emotions you get (ie. patriotism) are easily lured out instead of the weak attempts in this film.

    Great review.

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