The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
The Day the Earth Stood Still used to be a day when an alien lifeform came to earth along with his mysterious robot and told the human race to keep peace and be kind to each other, or else he had to destroy them (Robert Wise, 1951). In 2008, it was a day when a reminiscent alien (this time looking like Keanu Reeves) came along with the same robot to tell us that he had to kill us to prevent us from destroying the planet through pollution. The message is clear, powerful and relevant; the movie is neither of the three. Even though Keanu Reeves often is at his most convincing playing non-humans, and does well enough in that respect here, he doesn't quite look like the godlike being he could pull off ten years ago. And more importantly, director Scott Derrickson never comes close to really blowing life into this story. It remains a superficially eye-catching, but rather predictable and unengaging film - despite its subject material. For some reason, there is no real nerve to the predicaments presented - we don't feel cornered, we don't feel threatened, and everything disappears as unnoticeably as it comes. The film has some nice moments, most of which involve the great talent of Jaden Smith, but when it comes to thematic and dramatic value, the kid's father made a far better film in the same genre last year.