Wayhay! Mr Wooden is back with us and this time he plays a character in The Day the Earth Stood Still that is er...wooden. Ten out of ten for appropriate casting then. Indeed along with Will Smith’s son(Jaden
) and Jennifer “I can’t play anything but a scientist” Connelly
, this film is the nearest thing to a bit of 2 by 4 you’re ever likely to get (without being wood).
So why would anyone want to remake a film that (according to its fans) got it so very right in 1951? Well, for MONEY of course! Why else does Hollywood exist but to blatantly rehash everything good that has come before it and bastardise it in a way that would make a prostitute
A remake of the 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth.
A giant swirly marble comes to earth and lands in Central Park in an attempt to inadvertently blackmail the human race. Apparently “the human race” merely means anyone in the vicinity of Manhattan. Anyway, a couple of people look up, and one of them with an itchy trigger finger shoots the alien. Things don’t get off to a good start. This sounds as if it should be comedy gold. It is not!
How can you critique a film with Mr Wooden Reeves in it? The man is a God! He manages to sell himself as an actor without even trying to act (at least that’s how I see it). He has made a fortune
from asking questions (in The Matrix), looking very grumpy and emotionless (in Constantine
) and saying “Dude” a lot (in the Bill &
; Ted films). If that is not a talent I don’t know what is! His agent is without doubt a talented individual.
Nevertheless “critique” is what this section is entitled and “critique” is what you shall get. I say critique, but it’s likely to be me ranting about something unnecessarily in an attempt to bump up the word count
Lots of wooden acting is to be had from The Day the Earth Stood Still, from Keanu “Mr Wooden” Reeves to the wooden FBI agents along with Connelly, Smith, Cleese and Bates all being suitably wooden. Despite the rather large budget it seems that the director was going for “made for 40 pounds” look as everything looks a bit er..cheap.
Why is it necessary to include the obligatory child in a film such as this? Does no-one realise that annoying kids in movies are unwanted? It is a waste of an actor’s fee. Jaden Smith does his best but you can’t help but hate the child from the outset along with his highly educated but ultimately useless onscreen mother (Connelly).
Overall this film feels unfinished, unpolished and unworthy of bearing the name of the Sci-Fi classic it was based on. Too many questions are left unanswered such as “what happens next” and “how fast is three-times-ten-to-the-seventh metres per second?” In truth, despite the director’s best efforts you care so little of the film once it is over that these questions and many more are forgotten (and gladly so).
I didn’t think I’d like this movie. I had hoped it would be better than I expected but once again I was proved right by the marketing. It looked like B-Movie wannabe rubbish and that is exactly what we got. Sadly, with a smaller budget this may have become an instant classic but since this story has been told before, the classic had already been made and believe it or not, it was less wooden.
Keanu is wooden, Connelly is pointless and wooden, Jaden Smith is annoying and wooden, John Cleese is underused and unfunny (and wooden) and Kathy Bates is clearly uncomfortable in her role. Overall this film could’ve really been accidentally amusing throughout and is at risk of being so for the first act, but soon falls into the “just plain rubbish” category that I had expected all along. Mr Wooden still rocks though!
Rating: 2 out of 5