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The day the earth stood still
I was told that movie makers no longer favour the term 're-make' but instead would prefer it if we would all start calling these movies 're-imaginings'. Yeah, that's gonna happen. And next we're gonna call fat people 'weight-impaired'.
So, this is a re-make of a movie from the 50's. A simpler time where the Soviets were evil, technology hadn't come to MP-3 just yet and Keanu Reeves hadn't been born. Klaatu, a robot from an unidentified planet had come to warn us that we were a violent species and would destroy each other if we didn't listen to him. We reacted by shooting him.
In the 2008 version, not much has changed. Klaatu, convincingly portrayed by Neo, travels to earth in a giant glowing sphere to land in central park where he is duly shot by the army. The alien is taken to a facility where he is drugged, questioned and ends up stealing the interrogators suit and leaves the army looking like drooling idiots. He then takes off, accompanied by doctor Dontrememberhername and her annoying son, who happens to be the son of to Will 'Independance day was much better then this shit' Smith. For reasons we can't possibly comprehend Klaatu hasn't quite figured out to destroy the human race or not although the choice is made easier for him when the army tries to flashburn his giant robot bodyguard which unleashes a giant murderous swarm of bugs which proceeds to eat the Giants stadium and a truck but is ultimately stopped by a pedestrian tunnel.
Confused? I sure as hell was. The aliens in this movie, presumably led by Klaatu, seemed to have no idea what the fuck they're doing. Destroy all humans or not? Rescue some animals from the planet before they waste everything or unleash a swarm that only kills humans and mashes up steel and roads and anything else that humans built. Or.... leave after turning off all technology. They can't seem to make up their mind. These aliens seem to be the worsed prepared aliens ever to feature in a major movie. Say what you will about Independance day but the aliens in that one were prepared and they had a plan. The idiots in this movie have none. They attack a city that's already emtpy, they allow their giant robot to be captured, they plant a spy 70 years ahead of the attack but never bother to contact him, they let their invasion force be led by the most indecisive alien ever. Its basically just downright ridiculous. They're a disgrace for aliens everywhere.
There's more to this movie that bugged me. Product placement for one. There wasn't a scene without a well placed Honda brand. A not-so inconspicuous Microsoft logo or a not so subtle giant yellow M cluttering the screen. As a movie goer you accept that product placement exists but in this movie it quickly turned intrusive, irritating and distracting. Also, the casting seemed to exists entirely of idiots. From the colonel who ordered a missile strike on the giant indestructible energy sphere to the government man who thought it a good idea to drill into the enormour indestructible robot to Klaatu who thought it a good idea to hide from the monstrous metal swarm in that pedestrian tunnel to the secretary of defence who thinks its a good idea to incarcerate the alien to the interrogator who thinks its a good idea to agravate the alien you know nothing about to Klaatu again who lost a debate with John Cleese about destroying the human race in a single minute. That's how long it took John Cleese to utterly destroy any argument Klaatu had in his view that humanity was bad. John Cleese rules.
The action in this movie on the other hand doesn't. In an alien invasion movie the least we expect is some decent action. This one fails to deliver on that end and it fails epicly. I said it before and I'l say it again; An indestructible enemy is a boring enemy. As soon as you introduce inpenetrable energy shields or indestructible armor you lose all tension and battle scenes become boring. It happened in war of the world and it happens now. The few seconds of action we get are quickly smothered by the sheer boringness of the voracious indestructible bug swarm. Why is this done? Why can't movie makers comprehend that good alien vs human fights can be the most exciting thing for the big screen. Don't make them completely invincible. Leave us with some tension and for God's sake, produce a good alien invasion movie with some good action. Please! I'm begging you. I'm down on my knees begging you.
Lets go to the conclusion and verdict. The story is cluttered with all manner of nonsense and the action is sub par, to say the least. The aliens are the dumbest ever to destroy a major city and seem to have no clue what they're doing. Most of the main characters annoyed me except Keane Reeves who was so devoid of emotion that he left no mark at all on the audience and the ending was utterly unsatisfactory. A bad movie.
I was left with a sparkle of hope though. Terminator: Salvation is coming and has the potential to be awesome. Well, it contained a giant robot anyway. A cool movie? I shudder to hope...
Zero MI's. Holy crap!!!