There’s only one of two things you need from a movie critic-one that you always agree with, or one that you never agree with. Gary Cogill is a small time movie critic in Dallas. He has a long bio and list of accomplishments-and I have not trusted his advice on films since he recommended The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. That film is right up there with Peter Jackson’s King Kong when it comes to all time worst movies.
Which brings me to The Day The Earth Stood Still starring Keanu Reeves. NOT The Worst Movie Ever-Peter Jackson’s King Kong is THE Worst Movie EVER.
Unless your Gary Cogill, who seems to think The Day The Earth Stood Still is among the worst movies he has ever seen. The Day The Earth Stood Still is standard issue modern Hollywood Sci Fi fare, just as the original Day The Earth Stood Still was standard issue Hollywood Sci Fi fare when it came out. I like the 1950s rubber space suit Day The Earth Stood Still, but it was not exactly Casablanca or Citizen Kane. The new Day The Earth Stood Still is not Casablanca either, but it is a hell of a lot better than the worst movie ever-Peter Jackson’s King Kong.
This new Day The Earth Stood Still finds an alien that wants to save the Earth, by killing the evil and destructive humans that like to think of the planet as their own. There are a lot of chase scenes of one sort or another and the mysterious alien being forced to defend himself. Lots of things get destroyed and lots of things get saved.
There is a baffling little scene at the opening of the film where Keanu Reeves appears to be a solo mountain climber in the 1920s who finds a glowing orb covered with snow. He walks up and taps the orb and a white light flashes. When he wakes up he has a round scar on the back of his hand and the orb has vanished. This little bit of business is never mentioned again, even though we do met an eighty year old man later in the story who is one of the aliens left here in the 75 years ago.
The Day The Earth Stood Still is guilty of trying to over reach it’s grasp, as it appears to want to be a film like Dr Strangelove that will make people wake up and stop their evil ways. The old man alien tells Keanu Reeves that there is no hope, people will never change. So it is total destruction for life on Earth, with the aliens planning on repopulating later. But all is not lost, as alien Klaatu tells his one Earth friend that there is another way, but it would be hard. Harder than extinction? We’ll try it.
Jaden Smith does a good job of being an annoying little brat. Keanu Reeves is as cold and emotionless as ever. Tea Bag from Prison Break does a nice turn as a gung ho Army officer. Kyle Chandler makes a good Government suit. And John Cleese has a brief appearance as a wise old man who tries to talk some sense into the alien who stubbornly insists on killing off the human population.
I like The Day The Earth Stood Still and kept waiting for anything that would be as bad as the worse movie ever-Peter Jackson’s King Kong-but it never came. True enough, The Day The Earth Stood Still was just a movie. It felt a lot like Cloverfield, The Mist, The Happening, Blindness, and every other formula sci fi/horror film made over the last ten years or so. If the poster makes you think of Close Encounters of The Third Kind-well, it’s not that good. But it was pretty good.
The film ended as some kind of super EMP Pulse is used which not only knocks out electric devices but seems to remove all kinds of power. So maybe Gary Cogill has good reasons not to like The Day The Earth Stood Still, but I can still think of a lot of worse sci fi films-Mars Attacks comes to mind as one of the worse Sci Fi films ever. And The Creature Walks Among Us was just way too depressing.
A quick note to Keanu Reeves-Talk The Wachowski Brothers into making a sequel to The Matrix. Please.