‘The Day the Earth Stood Still,’ a contemporary reinvention of 20th Century Fox’s 1951 sci-fi classic, took the No. 1 spot at the box office this weekend.
The movie, also starring Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, John Cleese, James Hong, Jaden Smith and Kathy Bates, made $31 million over the weekend, studio estimates showed on Sunday.
Despite its success in selling tickets, the recent remake appears to have let go of the original’s subtlety, in favour of big-budget special effects and a higher body count.
Perhaps the most misguided remake since the laughable overhaul of ALL THE KING’S MEN a couple of years ago, the new EARTH has precious little in common with either the subtle 1951 science-fiction classic, or the short story that inspired the original film (Harry Bates’ “Farewell to the Master”).
This version has simultaneously pumped up the violence and destruction — and the body count — while dumbing down the thought-provoking themes that made the 1951 version haunting and resonant.
Director Scott Derrickson is more concerned with orchestrating a series of meant-to-be-mesmerizing special-effect sequences. His EARTH is full of digital trickery that no one could have even imagined 57 years ago; unfortunately, the rest of the film is proof that the art of screenwriting has, if anything, devolved throughout the decades.
At its best, science-fiction succeeds through its incredible suggestive power and its ability to incorporate subtle satire and metaphor. This time around, however, both the film and its fictional Earth appear to have been made motionless.
[T]he transformation of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL from a great piece of science-fiction into a borderline-incomprehensible, brain-dead action flick is nothing to celebrate.