A 2008 remakenote
of the 1951 scifi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
. It starred Keanu Reeves in the role of Klaatu.
This film replaces the heavy-handed anti-war Space Whale Aesop
in the original with an equally heavy-handed Green Aesop
. By making the aliens essentially eco-terrorists, it also removes much of the moral ambiguity and impact of the aesop.
This film provides examples of the following:
- Aliens Speaking Mandarin Chinese
- Aliens Steal Cable: used, but not thoroughly: even though the aliens had been studying the Earth for a while, Klaatu had apparently never heard Bach before.
- Aliens Are Bastards: The aliens are committing genocide against a sentient race to protect a planet which is in no appreciable danger. Even if we wipe ourselves out life will go on, and CO2 and methane scrubbing bacteria will come in and clean up after us. This is instead of just giving us better technology. They had to get to our level of technology, to get to theirs.
- Avengers Assemble: Gathering the team.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Presumably Klaatu's actions aren't as hypocritical to him as they are to us.
- Broken Aesop: We're destroying the other species on our planet, and aliens think that's bad. Fine. So why does Helen's love for Jacob change Klaatu's mind? A mother's love for a child of her own species, while charming, doesn't really show anything except a desire to perpetuate her species. It'd be more valid if she showed love for an animal, perhaps something completely dissimilar to humans. Instead, The Power of Love conquers all.
- The Cameo: Gurrak
- Creepy Monotone: Klaatu speaks with very little, if any emotional inflection in his voice, making his revelation of what's in store for humanity all the more chilling.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Klaatu's human form was grown within his placenta-like spacesuit to allow him to survive on Earth. He states that his true form "would only frighten [humans]".
- Fun with Acronyms: The US government decides Klaatu's robot buddy is Genetically Organized Robotic Technology—apparently, just having Klaatu say "Gort" at some point wasn't remakey enough.
- Gory Discretion Shot: We never see anyone getting totally disintegrated by the metal insects that make up Gort. The worst we see is a technician get a nosebleed and then fall over dead.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Mandarin Chinese. Keanu Reeves tries really hard, but still doesn't get it quite right.
- Grey Goo: How GORT was going to wipe out humanity.
- Humanity on Trial: Klaatu had authority to judge Earth. In the original, Klaatu's mission parameters exclusively covered delivering the message. The message being that humanity could either join the galactic civilization or stay on Earth. If we stayed on Earth, then we would be left alone. But if we decided to join, then we would be expected to obey their rules, and be annihilated unless we gave up our warlike ways.
- Inferred Holocaust: Maybe. The period of time without electricity isn't specified. See its entry on the trope page.
- Knight Templar: Klaatu
- Lowered Monster Difficulty: for certain values of "monster"
- No Conservation of Energy: The space ship must have had some nice phlebotinum to decelerate that fast without creating enough waste heat to completely level the UN.
- Product Placement: So blatant that it's distracting.
- The Remake
- Spheroid Dropship: In the place of the classic movie's Flying Saucer.
- The Swarm: The metal insects that comprise GORT.
- Uncanny Valley: Used deliberately with Klaatu. He has little or no texture on his face, and Keanu pulls off the role of an alien learning human behavior and getting it just close enough (But not perfect) to be unsettling brilliantly.
- You Won't Feel a Thing: Speaking about the end of the human race, Klaatu says "the pain will only be momentary."