x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Some classic films, such as this title's predecessor, are so good that Hollywood producers should just leave them alone.

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This remake of the classic 1950s end-of-the-world epic was supposed to bring big-budget sheen to a classic tale of human shortsightedness. Unfortunately, it only manages to deliver half-finished special effects and one of the biggest moot points in cinema history. Helen (Jennifer Connelly) is a scientist who the US government calls upon to combat an imminent alien threat to the planet. After a number of giant glowing spheres appear next to tourist-friendly landmarks around the world, Earth's politicians fear an invasion and begin to panic. Then one of the spheres spits out Keanu Reeves, who plays an alien ambassador called Klaatu. A "shoot first, ask questions later" incident gets things off to a bad start and it's not long before Klaatu explains that man is killing planet Earth and he's here to do something about it. As well as the incredibly heavy-handed message about man's destructive tendencies, the special effects used for alien robots, glowing spheres and a plague of metal locusts are cartoonish and laughable. The film's only saving graces are decent performances from Connelly as a leading lady and the Mad Men star John Hamm as a Nasa official. Everything else - from its corny dialogue to its massively underwhelming climax - feels rushed. Somehow, the director Scott Derrickson succeeded in making a film that's watchable but rather pointless. Anyone above the age of 12 could predict the ending.