Friday, May 08, 2009

The Day The Movie Sucked…

Sunny and I watched the remake of 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' last night, and I can honestly say I've never seen a remake that was less true to the original. In fact, when the movie ended I couldn't help but wonder if they deliberately tried to destroy and pervert the message of the first film. It was like the writer of the original personally wronged the writer of the remake in some way.

The first movie is about how humankind is so quick to jump to violence, so slow to trust and so self-destructive.

The human race discovers that we're not alone and greet the first representative of an alien race by shooting him the second he steps off his ship. We refuse to listen to the message he arrived to give us… and then we hunt down and kill this intelligent, advanced being who has shown himself to be completely harmless and benign. It's an alien offering the secrets of the cosmos and we want to kill him for it.

For me, this is an incredibly powerful message. It's an indictment of the human race that shows that we're literally killing ourselves and holding ourselves back because we're so small-minded and quick to lash out. In the 1950's and even today, that message has special importance. The message is simple:

We're killing ourselves…change or die.

The new movie completely ignores all of that and instead is almost a perfect example of what the first movie was arguing against.

In the remake Klatu is little more than a stereotypical invading alien. Apparently there are only a few planets that are capable of supporting complex life and we're killing our planet, so Klatu is here to save planet Earth from the human race.

So we start with a wishy-washy environmental message that isn't even plausible. We could pump so much carbon into the air that we choke to death, launch every nuke on the planet at each other… and we'd die, but in a few hundred thousand years, which is nothing more than a couple of seconds in a planet's life cycle, we'd be fossils and the planet would be thriving.

The rest of the movie is about trying to stop the alien destroying the planet, with the government trying to capture and kill him and a handful of people trying to convince him not to.

The movie ends with Klatu seeing that there's hope for the human race after all and saving us.

How's that for a message? We're destructive, murderous and untrusting…but we're also special and worth saving.

Is anyone else actually pissed off at this?

You take a classic movie with an important message and turn it into a piece of absolute garbage in which the human race is as monstrous as ever, but still has a happy ending and a message about how special.

Bullshit, plain and simple.


Sunny said...

I agree with you a THOUSAND percent.

How often does THAT happen with a movie we both watch?

rayray said...

I too was not impressed by this film.
Sure, if it was a stand-alone film, then maybe it'd have been good.
The effects were good, the scene where the guy 'interrogating' Klatuu going vertical was equally cool, but as a remake it sucked goat balls.

rayray said... ya THINK Will Smith's kid's got an ego?!
(I didn't care for his acting at all).
It WAS cool seeing John Cleese in it though