The Day the Earth Stood Still
Keanu Reeves has played a blank-eyed, all-knowing, monosyllabic quasi-Christ with magical powers so often, I wonder if he isn’t intent on reinventing himself as a new religion’s messiah (it worked for Tom Cruise). In this update of the stalwart 1951 sci-fi film, Keanu plays Klaatu, a messenger from alien planets sent to Earth (in a glowing bubble, thank you very much, George Lucas) to protect the planet from humans, even if it means wiping out the entire species. While the Cold War-era original was concerned with nuclear paranoia, this version is a clunky parable about environmental desecration, unironically loving McDonald’s product placement and all. It’s not a bad chase film, but The Day the Earth Stood Still is a failure as science fiction and utterly ridiculous as human drama.