Cinematografo.it (Italy), December 1, 2008
(Translated from Italian by keanugirl76, translation edited by Anakin McFly)
by Gianluca Arnone
“An alien invasion is not necessary to understand that we have to change. The planet is already warning us." Keanu Reeves disguises himself as an ecologist alien and, from Rome, he delivers his Ultimatum to the Earth [the TDTESS Italian title], coming out on December 12th in 500 Italian theatres. This remake of one of the most beautiful sci-fi movies in history – the original was directed in 1951 by Robert Wise - tries “to update history by considering the present environmental problems," director Scott Derrickson (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose”) explains, “without betraying the progressive elements of the original – from the space clothing to the alien figure – that had already subverted the traditional sci-fi iconography.”
Remade without the famous “Klaatu, Barada, Nikto!” sentence that could stop the destructive alien fury (Note: 'Klaatu Barada Nikto' is in the remake. - Ani), Reeves is an alien that, through a sphere, lands on Central Park together with a sentinel (a robot called Gort). Sceptical about the “visitor”'s intention, the American politicians (among whom Kathy Bates is the Secretary to Defence), decide to neutralize him, by requesting help from all the best scientists in the country and all the military's arsenal. But the attempt of the powerful country will be useless, while it is a young researcher (Jennifer Connelly) and her stepson (Jaden Smith, Will’s son) that will convince Klaatu/Keanu not to destroy mankind.
“If in the original" - Reeves explains - "the alien was docile at the beginning and terrible at the end, here it's the opposite. If I ever felt like an alien? Oh, yes, when I started high school.” The actor, who attended the press conference wearing a neglected beard and ready to joke, declares that he believes in aliens, but he thinks they won’t ever go to the White House (“What could they tell Obama, if not “good luck”?) , and denies the possibility of a fourth Matrix: “Neo’s journey is over”. He doesn’t want to tell us who the best director he has worked with is (it’s a matter of politeness, as there’s Derrickson near him), and declares himself as an “academic” when asked to choose his sci-fi cults: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and Solaris (Tarkovskij’s one). And, regarding the Christian allegory of The Day The Earth Stood Still, his opinion differs from Derrickson’s, who talks about “a reproach for the Teocon Vulgate”. According to Reeves, “Western culture is full of Jewish-Christian traditions. They can be found anywhere, also against the scriptwriters’ will. Finally, a confession of love that froze all the gossip columnists, who were ready to enjoy the scoop: “Dedicated to who gave me the maximum freedom and fun: acting!”. The Total Film Interview: Keanu Reeves