16 December 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: David Scarpa
Full credits from IMDb

The Day the Earth Stood Still does more than simply look like The War of the Worlds: it adopts that Spielbergian conceit about destroying the world in order to reunite an estranged family, too. Could anything be more selfish and, well, American? Metal-munching space flies (really) are reducing the earth to wasteland and all the filmmakers care about is: will Will Smith’s son stop worrying about his (movie) father’s death and learn to love his step-mother, Jennifer Connelly? To be fair, the filmmakers also care about how cool it looks to see shit get blown up! To the detriment of boring old things like pacing and storytelling, both as “last century” as the original’s A-bomb anxiety, director Scott Derrickson ensures that every cent of the film’s $100 million budget turns up on the screen — even though the CGI, like that used to create the Doctor Manhattan-sized Gort, looks like it’s out of the late 80s (or an Xbox). But the SFX, the techware, the weaponry, the copious extras, the intricately dressed sets and all the other expenses are, without a compelling context, a bore.

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