It was my day off, I get a discount as a “City Screen” member, so relaxing in front of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ seemed like a good idea. Some critics have slated it but I wonder what they expected. It is a remake of a 1950s ‘B movie’ so I already knew the story, didn’t they?
I enjoyed the effects and found Keanu Reeves convincing as an alien living in an uncomfortable human body. He is ideal for the part. There is a comment about the strangeness of the name of the alien, Kiatu. I think Keanu is just as strange.
It was not quite as mindless as I expected though. It turned out to be interesting for the portrayal of a world view i do not share. I think little science fiction is about the future, it is really about the present viewed from a different perspective.
In this film death was handled in a hopeless way. By hopeless I am referring to the words of the Aposle Paul when he said that Christians do not grieve as those who have no hope. To a heart-broken child at the grave of his lost father, the best comfort offered was that nothing truly dies, that the universe recycles everything. What comfort is that from an alien supposedly superior in wisdom, knowledge and evolutionary advancement? Those I love will become compost! Is that the best he could come up with? Compare that with the words of Job in the Old Testament, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”
People do die in this film, rather a lot of them, yet it appeared we were not invited to get attached to them or value them as characters.
All in all then, it left me with lots to think about. Would I recommend it? Yes but with the warning that the story is uncomplicated, there is little surprise if you already know the story, and there is little character development.