Sunday, 14 December 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still Review

Next time a hippy do-gooder comes up to you in the street and asks you to save the planet kick him in the nuts and tell the selfish prick to 'do one'. He's only out for number one. He's not looking out for the planet, our planet is nigh on indestructable. The seas may rise, the oil may dry up, but you could drop a billion nukes onto it and it'd keep on spinning. Anybody that looks out for the interests of our Earth is only worried about the people on it. And people, well, people suck. The Earth would be much better off without us.

And this is the biggest problem with The Day The Earth Stood Still. When Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) pops down to chartered survey our little green planet he realises as any right thinking Alien would that its a very, very nice place. Shame about its inhabitants. To look after the world he decides that people must die. Every man Jack of us. Thus begins a fight between the US Military, trying and failing to blow the extraterrestrials up, and the humane scientists, lead by Jennifer Connelly, trying to reason that "Come on we can Change!"

For a film about the end of the world its a little dull. Such is the po-faced nature of Klaatu and everybody else you can't help wanting the destruction to get a bloody move on. I'm not looking for 'fish out of water' type gags where Klaatu marvels at the idea of a toaster or finds humanity in YouTube but a small amount of humour injected into the script would help us give a shit about at least some of the characters. Even the ridiculous gung ho nature of the US Government is played completely straight. There is comic gold to be mined in them thar' hills.

The central question of 'are humans worth saving?' isn't played as one-sided as my opening gambit would suggest thanks to John Cleese, some Johann Sebastian Bach and Maths putting up quite a fight for why GORT should give us another chance. But sadly this isn't what convices Klaatu to let us off the hook. No, instead its the kid and the mum showing that change can happen by actually being nice to each other for the first time in the film. Sod that, I want an apocalyptic movie where Bill Hicks and Charlie Brooker are called up as witnesses for the prosecution. No-one in any galaxy would let us humans carry on after testimony like that.

No comments: