Although, I should say that Keanu Reeves was perfectly cast, and I don't even mean that in a bitchy way--he's just really good for sci-fi with the whole spacey detachment thing. It works in The Matrix because "Whoa" is pretty much the only reasonable reaction to that whole deal, and it works for him as an alien because you can buy him as being inexplicably different from everyone else without him even trying all that hard. He just shows up and it's like, "Whoa, something is weird about that dude." Although, I have to say, towards the beginning when Klaatu was just getting used to his human body or whatever, he did a really, really good job of sounding inhuman. Just--this weird, deep voice for lines like "This body will take some getting used to." It almost sounded kind of... ancient. There was acting involved and it was actually pretty good for what it was, is what I'm saying.
Also, he looks really good in a suit.
Everyone else, though--basically, I wanted to slap everyone in this movie. HEY IT'S A NICE ALIEN COVERED IN GOO, LET'S SHOOT HIM. (I didn't actually hear the phrase "Klaatu barada nikto," but I assume it's what Embryo-Spacesuit Klaatu said right after Gort, or GORT, or whatever, went apeshit immediately after Klaatu got shot, and that it therefore roughly translates to "Chill the fuck out.") And then Colonel T-Bag showed up and was like HEY LET'S SHOOT MISSILES AT THE SPHERE, I'M SURE THAT WON'T PISS THE GIANT ROBOT OFF AT ALL, and everybody asploded. Also, apparently Jon Hamm and Kyle Chandler look so entirely alike that I was convinced that they were the same person and couldn't figure out how Jon Hamm had escaped being eaten by the Gortean nano bugs after the army guy wouldn't let him out of the control room because he (the army guy) was like "Yeah, you were totally okay with locking the diamond drill guy in to get snarfled, HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES NOW." And then John Cleese (?!) showed up for one scene as a Nobel prize winner (!!) and tried to reason with Klaatu and when that didn't work he told Jennifer Connelly to convince him "with herself," like... did he just tell her to pimp herself out for the good of humanity? What? I kind of wish she actually had, because an attempted Klaatu seduction would have at least been interesting. In fact, I really can't understand how the movie managed to avoid the whole Our Interplanetary Love Can Never Be, But I Will Save Humanity for Your Sake cliché (complete with hesitant, ethereally-backlit scene where They Kiss Omg, you know there would have been one), and I wish I could congratulate the movie on its restraint, except that AT LEAST CLICHÉS WOULD HAVE BEEN INTERESTING.
(I would just like to break in here and ask what the hell happened to Jennifer Connelly? Oh my God, she is emaciated now! We've seen her in full bodacity! She's not Keira Knightley, for God's sake! She doesn't have to look like this! Her thinness hurts me in my soul.)
As it was, Klaatu's decision to spare the Earth seemed to hinge on Will Smith's kid finally accepting his movie-father's death and ~*Letting Jennifer Connelly Into His Heart*~ in the cemetery after being a little bitch-ass punk for the entire movie. Probably my favorite part of the entire ordeal was when Jaden Smith was all like HEY ARMY HE'S RIGHT HERE, OMG THE ALIEN IS RIGHT HERE, COME GET HIM!, and the aerial SWAT guys or whatever leaped down and yanked Jennifer Connelly right out of the movie and didn't bother to grab Jaden Smith at all, so he's left there with Klaatu, who's just like, "Whatever, I asplode your puny helicopters. What? I thought you humans liked it when things blowed up good."
So then Jaden Smith's just left there in the woods by himself all like RUN AWAY!! and then he nearly falls off some decrepit old creek bridge and Klaatu saves his punk ass (I like to think it's because he wanted to watch him die later in a much more painful manner) and Jaden's all like, sniffle-sniffle, I don't know how to get home! WELL MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE YOU CALLED THE COPS LIKE A LITTLE BITCH. Does this movie then turn into Klaatu and That Punk-Ass Kid on the Run? No, it does not. Because that would have been interesting.
My other favorite part was when Klaatu's trying to drag them out of the nano-bug swarm over to The Sphere and they're like ten yards away and he's all like WE WON'T MAKE IT IN TIME, LET'S RUN FIFTY YARDS OVER TO THAT COVERED BRIDGE, YOU KNOW, LIKE IN CLOVERFIELD, I'M SURE THAT'LL WORK OUT JUST FINE. So then he saves them from a nano-bug infestation because Jaden Smith calls Jennifer Connelly "Mom" for the first time and then he walks out into the swarm to save the Earth all like, "Look, it's a Jesus thing, I got this." And then he touches The Sphere and sets off an EMP that kills the Gortean nano-swarm? And all the electricity in the world? I don't know if it'll ever come back, because saving the Earth supposedly would "come at a price"? And the swarm snarfles Klaatu and then The Sphere takes off and Jennifer and Jaden hug and she's like "It's leaving" and he's beaming, all "No, he's leaving," THE END. So... we're cool now? "Well, most of Manhattan got eaten." "Yeah, but Klaatu's okay." "So... is humanity actually going to change and reverse the damage to the Earth?" "Well... maybe, I don't know." "Are we ever gonna have electricity again?" "Eh, I'm sure John Cleese will think of something."
And you know that Klaatu got home to the Universal Interplanetary Committee and had a shitload of explaining to do. "And you didn't even fall in love with her? That kid didn't even beg you to stay and be his space dad? Seriously? They just cried a little and you rolled over for that? That's the last time we send your dumb ass to get anything done."
The really sad part is that even my mother's asking now if I'm going to write Fifteen Minutes...es every time I see a movie. "NO! I JUST WANT TO WATCH SOMETHING FOR ONCE--YOU DON'T EVEN READ THEM, WHY DO YOU CARE?!" Yeah... I've been a little crankypants today, sorry. I think it's the headache.