(out of 5)
Disappointing remake of the science-fiction classic by Robert Wise. Jennifer Connelly plays a biology professor whose home life is difficult thanks to the death of her husband and the care of his unhappy son. She is interrupted from her miserable home life when she is pulled into a secret project by the government after giant alien spheres descend upon the earth and reveal nothing except one lifeform: Keanu Reeves! Connelly becomes Reeves’ guide on the planet as he informs her that his species is thinking about getting rid of the human race: we don’t get along and the planet is dying because of us, so why not destroy us altogether? It doesn’t help that Reeves is constantly in the company of the one woman on the planet who never smiles. The scenario has been updated a little (the original dealt with nuclear disarmament, this one’s more environmental) but the plotting is so much less effective. There’s very little intelligence or thought-provoking allegory here, just a lot of gloomy theorizing before a really weak, ineffective ending. Tech-heads won’t be thrilled either, as the cinematography is flat and the visual effects are less than inspiring. Also features Kathy Bates as the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
Directed by Scott Derrickson
Cinematography by David Tattersall
Music by Tyler Bates
Production Design by David Brisbin
Costume Design by Tish Monaghan
Film Editing by Wayne Wahrman