April 16, 2009

Indians in The Day the Earth Stood Still

In the 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, the US is confronted with the possibility of an alien invasion. Secretary of Defense Regina Jackson (Kathy Bates) engages in the following bit of dialog:REGINA JACKSON:  History has lessons to teach us about first encounters between civilizations. As a rule the less advanced civilization is either exterminated or enslaved. I'm thinking of Pizarro and the Incans, Columbus and the Native Americans, and the list goes on. Unfortunately in this case, the less advanced civilization is us.

MICHAEL GRANIER:  This is the representative of an extra-terrestrial civilization. This is the most important discovery in the history of Mankind!

REGINA JACKSON:  It may well be the last discovery in the history of Mankind.
Comment:  Of course, the Europeans triumphed over the Indians mainly because of disease. Without that handicap, the Indians were often able to fight on equal terms.

Disease probably wouldn't apply to an alien invasion. I'd like to think that humans would overcome alien invaders as they did in Harry Turtledove's World at War series.

Rob's review

I think the reviews pretty much nailed The Day the Earth Stood Still. It starts out suspenseful enough, but eventually becomes predictable, hackneyed, and uninteresting.

You can see this in the trailer below. It's all about the setup, not the payoff. The fun part is getting to the point where Gort the giant robot appears. After that it's like, "Oh, darn...we can't just end the movie here. We have to come up with some lame plot about Klaatu's learning what it means to be human."

Rob's rating: 6.5 of 10.

For more on the subject, see What Would ET Do? and The Best Indian Movies.

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