Writer: Syahida KamarudinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"War of the Worlds", "1951's The Day The Earth Stood Still"
Planet Earth sure has troubles aplenty. If not being invaded by human-sucking tripods, it will rebel against human beings through floods and natural disasters. Now, it needs to be saved from human beings and who else to come to the rescue if not the man himself, Keanu I-need-a-box-office-hit Reeves a.k.a. Klaatu in the movie.
"The Day The Earth Stood Still" is different from any other alien invasion movies because Klaatu came with a United Nation-like mission. Unlike Martians and those tripod freaks, he came with the intention to save the earth from its impending doom - us. So, the magic word here is 'to defend', not 'to exterminate'. See where I am going with this? Not really, huh? Well, it means that "The Day the Earth Stood Still" is not your ordinary dog-eat-dog alien invasion movie. So, if you are thinking of watching blood and gore and humans shoving each other to save their own sorry behind during this school holiday, perish the thought. Klaatu is philosophic, almost Nelson Mandela-like, and his 24-hour journey is to seek for answers while showing his awesome alien powers simultaneously. If you're thirsty for action, do keep an eye out for scenes involving the moustached Robert Knepper.
Plot-wise, the film is different from its 1951 version in theme and impression. This movie is more quick-paced and has a much better special effect. It discusses the rise and fall of civilisations in such a simple manner that you wish they had showed this movie in your history class instead. Scenes involving military defence and actions that require lots of air force, explosions and air raids are done with tremendous impacts. And GORT, Klaatu's famous robot, is now more than just a robot. Seeing the thing in its millennium revamp makes you go "Whoa, you should NOT be called a GORT." Kudos to Jeff Okun and the visual effects team for a job well done. Although, I wish they'd shown a lot more of GORT. That thing is huge!
Acting-wise, Keanu Reeves as Klaatu is almost believable. Not that it should be something out of the unexpected, as Klaatu is a character of no emotion or facial expression, which should be Reeves' forte (ha!). I had a hard time believing Jennifer Connelly's character as a scientist. I am not saying beautiful girls can't be brainy, but a beautiful girl who is both a scientist and a holier-than-thou stepmother is too far-fetched. Not that she is not a good actress, she is. The character is not. Performance-wise, Jaden Smith shows the audience that he is indeed the son of A-list spouse, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett. Without the need to be in a movie with his own parents, Jaden excels in playing his character as Connelly's stepchild who worships his deceased father to a point of annoyance. And yeah, the Secretary of Defence is perhaps the most unconvincing role ever.
In short, if you stood still for the rest of the movie, you might find that it's a good distraction from all the good-looking vampires and animated cuddly animals that are flooding the cinemas.Cinema Online, 05 December 2008