This big budget film is a remake of a 1951 original that has long been considered a sci-fi classic. Klaatu comes to earth, as an alien, to ostensibly save us from ourselves. In the 1951 version we are on the brink of war while in the 2008 one we are in danger of environmental catastrophe. In the original version Klaatu, while in human form, takes on the name "The Carpenter," thus demonstrating amazing parallels with Jesus, the incarnate messiah. In fact, in the 1951 version the alien experiences a death and resurrection for the sake of earth. In the remake he is not "The Carpenter" but there are elements that cause the discerning viewer to see that the "Christ figure" is still present in the film. Director Scott Derrickson, himself a Christian, maintains that he wanted to alter the story a bit but not at all remove this aspect. The truth is here but the modern viewer may be challenged to see it as clearly, given the culture-wide ignorance of the story of incarnation among younger viewers in particular.
Derrickson informed Christianity Today that he took great care in "updating this and preserving the Christ allegory." I think he did but I am still not a huge fan of The Day the Earth Stood Still. The film gets a weak review from the professionals and lead
actor Keanu Reeves is anything but scintillating in the lead role. I would give it one and a half stars, maybe two. Seeing this film was not a complete waste of time but there wasn't a sense of seeing something big or important when I left the theater. Decent entertainment but definitely a film you can afford to miss, especially given all the hype and major marketing. The film is 110 minutes and rated PG-13 for violence.