Dr. Helen Benson is summoned to a military facility with several other scientists when an alien spacecraft of sorts arrives in New York City. Aboard is a human-like alien and a giant robot of immense size and power. The alien identifies himself as Klaatu and says he has come to save the Earth. The US military and political authorities see him as a threat however and decide to use so-called intensive interrogation techniques on him but Dr. Benson decides to facilitate his escape. When she learns exactly what he means when he says he is there to save the Earth, she tries to convince him to change his intentions. Written by
Renowned astronomer Seth Shostak was hired as a consultant on the film. He reviewed the script several times for errors, and gave suggestions for making the scientists less dry: "Real scientists don't describe an object entering the solar system as 'notable for the fact that it was not moving in an asteroidal ellipse, but moving at nearly 3*10 to the 7 meters per second'. More likely, they would say that there was 'a god-damned rock headed our way!'" He also noted the scientists should refer to one another by a first name basis. See more »
The surgeon is seen talking with his mask off just before beginning the procedure. A surgeon would have had his mask in place before approaching the operating table. See more »
A schizophrenic film. Scott Derrickson has done his best to make a run of the mill CGI-enhanced sci-fi thriller but has found himself thwarted by the remarkable screen presence of Keanu Reeves and the ghost of Bernard Herrmann.
Reeves was the draw for me; where some find him laughable, I find him sober and engaging. His alien-in-a-human is at once non-porous of emotion but registers the emotional to-ing and fro-ing that decide his actions. He's a classy screen idol, well-cast. The rest of the cast (the very capable Jennifer Connelly included) are at the mercy of a truly ridiculous story both in concept and in local narrative. The gravity of the situation in which humankind as represented by Americans finds itself is only captured in the single-gear performance of Reeves and the unobtrusive but peculiar 'Herrmann' score, resurrected for the film by Tyler Bates.
There's a lot of silliness - a lot of cartoonish world's end drama which, strangely, doesn't do what it purports to which is update the 1951 original. It still feels dated. We are also presented with John Cleese as a Nobel Prize winner. Well that's also ridiculous on the face of it - but I tell you something, if the end where nigh and you wanted someone leftfield to plead your seemingly intractable case, you'd do a lot worse than Cleese. As a final oddity the product placement in the film seems at odds with the frowning upon consumerism that's at it's heart. Or maybe they're companies leading the charge to save the world. It's all a bit confusing. 4/10
195 of 292 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?