Remember The Day the Earth Stood Still, that campy, anti-nuclear war social statement back in 1951 which introduced the world to the now-iconic GORT, massive indestructible robot?
Don’t fret if you don’t know it, but even if you don’t, I bet you remember the 2008 remake with Keanu Reeves, don’tcha? Well, I had the opportunity to watch it over the weekend, so I sat down to see what became of a classic Sci-Fi favorite.
What became of it was, it got ruined.
This was the worst tree-hugging, evil-humans-must-be-eliminated piece of eco-terrorist propaganda I’ve seen since that piece of crap The Day After Tomorrow. UGH. Jeez, take a perfectly workable plot and completely flush it down the toilet. While it was just as bad, at least War of the Worlds (the Spielberg version from 2005) held some of the original’s integrity and vision. But honestly, I’m starting to wonder if Hollywood writers ever think their plots through. If I wrote fiction like that, I could give up on convincing readers to follow my story and I could forget about ever getting published.
My goodness, what a stink-fest. First, I’m not sure who told old Keanu he could act but they lied. Second, the whole premise is aliens come to Earth to destroy humans because we’re “wrecking the planet” (again). They have to save the Earth. . .from us. Yes, we, the only indigenous reasoning life forms on the planet, aren’t good for it. So all the aliens have to gather two of every kind of animal so they can eliminate us pesky, destructive, hateful, disgusting humans from the planet. According to Keanu, there are only a handful of planets capable of supporting complex life, so this one’s extremely valuable.
How do the aliens do this? With incredible technology. It’s so advanced, it’s like magic. As any Sci-Fi fan knows, sufficiently advanced technology would appear to be magical to less advanced life forms. And how, pray tell, did those aliens develop their technology? How’d they go from living in trees and caves and working with burning sticks to traveling the cosmos in hyper-light speed space craft? How’d they go from clubs made from the bones of dead animals to GORT, the massively destructive (did you catch that?) robot made of miniature metal locusts?
Well, however they did it, it wasn’t by first learning to cultivate the resources of their planet, that’s for sure. It wasn’t by discovering increasingly efficient fuel sources and use of raw materials until manufacture of polymers could replace it, that’s for sure. It wasn’t by going from discreet conductors and electronics to integrated circuits to whatever comes next, that’s for sure. How do I know? Because, despite the natural progression technology must take to go from fire to interstellar travel, the aliens hate us like all good tree-huggers, and we have to be destroyed.
So how did they develop their technology? Well, we don’t get to find out. Because no one, from Kathy Bates as the Secretary of State, to the brunette hottie super-scientist with a heart, thought to ask them what other options were available. And no, the aliens weren’t here to show us a better way. They were just here to wipe us out. Warn us first, but since we didn’t just waltz them into the UN meeting to have a sit-down with all us dumb-ass humans, we don’t really deserve a proper warning anyway. I mean, the UN’s been so efficient at working things out so far, why wouldn’t aliens go to them first with this, right?
Anyway, you’ve probably seen it so I won’t bother with the stupid details. But a single question – “Okay, smart guys, since our way’s so wrong, how’d you develop your technology if not by a logical progression through a chain of ever-advancing steps utilizing the resources of the world around you?” – breaks this plot into teeny-tiny little shards of crap. As opposed to the single, HUGE turd it was before the question is asked.
Save two hours of your life for something interesting, amusing or productive. This dog has too many fleas to be worth it. All this, and I missed the first part of the movie. I’m glad I didn’t see all of it though. The special effects didn’t save it. Sorry, Keanu.
Hey, Hollywood script writers, here’s an idea: if you want to update a classic movie, keep your agenda out of it. Write something a person of average intelligence couldn’t blow apart like a tissue during a sneeze, would ya?
All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
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