Last night I saw The Day the Earth Stood Still, apparently it had an updated message. I’m not one for movie reviews, but as an undisputed eco-warrior, I have things to say.
I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t enjoy it for what it was trying to be and I didn’t enjoy it for not being what it could have been. It just sucked. I laughed once and oh-and-ah’ed once and that was about it. Keanu Reeves sucked. He was Neo and this wasn’t the Matrix. It doesn’t work that way and people notice.
And you would imagine Hollywood helping out in giving the US’s image a bit of a PR boost by treating the alien nicely. But no, the first thing they do is shoot the bugger. And then when asked if she represents the entire human rice, the person trying to inflict her will upon the alien says “No, I represent the President of the United States”, which we should then accept of enough of a representation of the human race to be sufficient.
So the story rolls on and I’ll spoil it for you now, because you’ll be able to guess the outcome 5 minutes into the movie anyway. “I’m a friend of the earth”, he says and immediately you know it’s not what he’s saying, it’s what he’s not saying – he’s not a friend of humans. Everyone will die! And true enough, talking to a Chinese looking and speaking alien who chose New York to live in, of all places, the Chinese alien reports that humans are destructive and are killing the planet and they should die.
Is that your official report?
“Is this your official report?” is the question that ultimately seals the fate of the human race. “Then the process shall begin”. So the heroine finds out that the planet will be wiped clean of humans and she says no, we deserve a second chance. But you know that in Hollywood nobody is dying and the earth will be fine.
In the end the woman convinces the alien not to destroy the planet because her step-son, the little shit who is hell bent on killing him, decides that he doesn’t want to kill him.
But it’s laughable, because the boy decides he doesn’t want to kill the alien, because he sees the alien reviving somebody he just killed and the boy thinks, “ah, he can revive my dead dad too”. So suddenly, because he has a use for him, the boy befriends the alien, but typically, after he discovers the alien can’t do anything for his father who died years ago, he doesn’t want to be friends with the alien anymore. Isn’t that just typically human?
The alien’s heart melts when he sees the step-mom and son, who didn’t get along so well, hug. And he then decides to call off the death and destruction.
So the moral of the story is: we’re killing the planet with our selfish and inconsiderate behaviour, but hell, lets hug and everything will be ok.
Die, human scum. Die!
In my version of the movie the alien lands in 1920 to warn humans that by 2020, if we don’t do anything, they will come back and kill us, otherwise the planet will die, which it can’t, because it’s of vital importance to the universe (hence the drastic action). Then he comes back in 2008 to say, we haven’t changed our ways and they’ve decided to kill us early. So this remake ensues pretty much as it is.
Then, when he simply leaves at the end and you think it’s all over, it cuts to 2020 and shows how us humans have done aboslutely fucking nothing to change our ways and that all the hugging in the world didn’t change the environment a bit. Aliens then come back, and there’s no further communication, just the earth being swept clean. All humans are killed, all manmade things are destroyed and the planet starts to recouperate.
No Hollywood’ification of the real issue this movie touches on and no raping the message in favour of audience approval ratings.
I think this remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still had an opportunity to convey a message, to speak to people. But it chose to be Hollywood bubblegum instead. So no message and not even decent entertainment value either. What a waste of time and money – their’s and mine.