When Arthur C. Clarke had his novel published in 1953 it was lauded as a masterpiece of science fiction. It followed a typical sci fi storyline in that it was about an alien invasion of Earth. Nothing earth shattering or even especially original. At first glance, at least.
A deeper look into the novel will shed light on its potential. A potential that would translate to the big or small screens. If handled correctly, that is. Make no mistake this is a project that had to be handled, moulded and protected.
None of this actually happened. Misstep after false step occurs. The result is actually a ball of confusion. The writing is rather muddled. You can sense that they are trying to get across a big message about mankind and the way we are living today but it is totally lost amidst the chaos. Result is that we don’t get to grasp what they are trying to get across and interest is lost.
Which is unfortunate because you can tell that money was put into the production. Special effects are largely high quality. There is talent there just not in the high profile areas like direction, writing and acting.
Alien ships come down to Earth. They are not here to kill or destroy. Rather they want to educate and direct humans, who they see as lost. They offer humans the deal that if we allow them to lead they will eradicate disease, poverty, hunger, injustice, and war. Everything bad will be gone from human lives.
The representative of the aliens is Karellen (voiced by Charles Dance) and he has selected a farmer named Rick Stormgren (played by Mike Vogel) as his spokesman. Rick will tell humans what the aliens what us to do. Too easy? Too good to be true? Yes. No. Maybe.