Directed By: Scott Derrickson
Written By: David Scarpa (who adapted Edmund H. North’s 1951 screenplay)
I have never seen the original movie this film is based on, but I imagine it was really cool and ahead of its time. I have no way of knowing how it compares to the original but I do think this version of the film is pretty cool. I can’t imagine the right technology was at hand to make a film like this in 1951 but that hasn’t stopped visionary filmmakers of any generation before. This movie looked good, it was well stocked with popular actors, and it was exciting for the most part.
Watching it now I am really reminded a lot of the last remake we watched, Dawn of the Dead. The people are just a bit too stupid and too many dumb decisions are made in dealing with the situation at hand. Albeit I could see these exact decisions being made in real life by the government but it is still annoying to see. This movie makes a strong effort to say something about our humanity but I think it is a message that is overdone and people were tired of hearing it when this movie came out. This movie was not successful at the box office despite relentless advertising and I think it is because the theme has been played out and people weren’t interested in seeing it again in a remake. Yeah we are a species destroying our own planet. Yes the people we put in charge do not care or do anything to make things better. Yes we multiply and bleed the planet dry of resources relentlessly. We get it, as long as movies have been made this message has been sent to us in every angle imaginable, from Planet of the Apes to Pixar’s Wall-E. The fact that this is a remake from a movie made sixty years ago proves that by itself.
This is a visually compelling movie with great special effects, that’s the main reason to watch it. Beyond that I think that Keanu Reeves performance makes this movie worth wild. Reeve’s hasn’t really had many hits in his post-Matrix career and this movie definitely wasn’t a hit, but I think he was great as Klaatu. He was cold and chilling as the alien envoy with really cool abilities. Jennifer Connelly plays the female lead and she isn’t bad, but I am not a fan of hers. Kathy Bates is also in the movie and while I am a fan of hers I don’t think this was her finest role. There are many television stars in the film including Jon Hamm, Kyle Chandler, and Robert Knepper. I think Will Smith’s kid was really miscast for this movie but the industry seems determined to make both of his kids superstars.
We only own this movie because I bought it used for four dollars or something, I thought it was worth that. This isn’t the greatest movie we own and it isn’t one of my favorites but it’s not a bad film. I think that you would enjoy it if you gave it a shot. Again, I have not seen the original so I could eventually see myself taking back everything I said about this movie. When I saw the remake of Dawn of the Dead in 2004 I didn’t think there was anyway the original could be better because it was so scary and the effects were so good, but I was wrong about that. I could easily be making a mistake about this film as well simply because it looks good and stars people I recognize.
I really enjoy this movie. I wasn’t sure about it when we watched it the first time, or even when I saw the trailer for the first time, but overall this is a movie that can get into your head and make you think about the human race and the way that we treat the planet. I am not a fan of a Keanu Reeves; I think he is a horrible actor that somehow continues to get jobs. Having said that, it is roles like this one and The Matrix that make it okay for him. Especially this one, where he doesn’t even play a human. Those are the best roles for Reeves in my opinion.
In any case, this movie is moving in the sense that we are treating our planet and each other like shit. We dispose of so much waste that it literally makes me anxious. I have anxiety about the fact that all of this waste we have just goes and sits in a landfill. Eventually those areas are going to run out, and when they do we are going to be overwhelmed with trash and human waste. We also even treat each other like crap. Occasionally, we come together as a race and help others during times of troubles like natural disasters, but that never lasts very long and as soon as the news is old we are out and they are on their own again (Haiti).
This is a moving movie, and although out there with the aliens and all, it provides a good message that we should all treat each other better and also treat this planet better.
NEXT MOVIE: Dazed and Confused (1993)