the-day-the-earth-stood-still
via 20th Century Fox

A joyless sci-fi remake sent back to its own planet by critics comes in peace on streaming

Aimed for a peaceful takeover, ended up being buried.

Keanu Reeves and sci-fi have a complicated relationship, with the actor’s clear love of the genre hardly reflected in the quality of the movies he makes set within it. There’s been highs and lows during his decades-long association, but none of them fared quite as dismally with critics as The Day the Earth Stood Still.

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Sure, 1995’s awful Johnny Mnemonic may have been treated ever so slightly worse on Rotten Tomatoes thanks to its 18 percent score – compared to the 20 percent scraped together by Scott Derrickson’s $80 million remake of the 1951 classic – but the former performed much better in terms of its audience average, and it didn’t receive any Razzie nominations, either.

the day the earth stood still

The Day the Earth Stood Still was shortlisted for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel, but thankfully had the benefit of releasing in the same year as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It’s a remarkably tedious and completely uninteresting evolution of an intergalactic all-timer, but the power of Keanu clearly remains strong on streaming.

Per FlixPatrol, the monotonous blockbuster that inexplicably shook off a critical pasting to bring in $233 million from theaters to emerge unscathed and highly profitable at the end of the day has become one of the most-watched features on Starz this week, something we absolutely weren’t expecting in the run-up to Christmas.

“It might not be the worst sci-fi starring Keanu Reeves, but it’s at probably second” is hardly a glowing recommendation, but The Day the Earth Stood Still has nonetheless managed to come in peace and be greeted with open arms by at-home viewers.


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Scott Campbell
News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.