My Review of War of the Worlds

So, late last evening, at the invitation of a friend who works for the Paramount family of companies, I attended a screening of War of the Worlds. So thanks, Parmount. Sorry I can’t give you a good review.

Eh. One and a half stars. Half thumb up.

Go if you want non-stop action with lots of low base noise to keep you nervous through the whole movie. Yes, the soundtrack’s low base noise was so consistent I actually noticed it consciously.


Spoilers ahead.

War of the worlds was no “Independence Day.” Independence Day, which is basically the same concept, was fun. It had comic relief. It had interesting characters you believed in. I thought the character development of Cruise’s character consided of 10 to 15 minutes at the beginning of the movie where he acts like an idiot to his supervisor, and you then see he has no relationsihp with his kids and his ex-wife has married up. His kids are rebellious and hyper-nervous. Trite.

There were great effects and great action sequences. But I didn’t believe them. The concept of “good-guy/bad-guy bullets” was in full effect. People all around Tom Cruise are getting zapped or grabbed by the alien tripods, and yet it all goes by Tom.

The movie itself has a dark heart, and you see the worst in people come out during this time of emergency. I compare these scenes, which I won’t detail here, to the actual actions of people in real world disasters like terror attacks, the tsunami, earthquakes and floods, and I find the story unbelievable here. Yes, people will crowd to get away from monsters. But will they lose all sense of what it means to be human? Perhaps. I’ve never been chased by an alien. But the portrayal of panic and cruelty is more Hollywood’s concept of what would happen than what history and psychology show to be the reality.

Speielberg paints a gruesome picture of the world after an alien attack. I couldn’t help but wonder a few times if the scientologist in Cruise was laughing, thinking that when the aliens come he’ll be the one saved.




One response to “My Review of War of the Worlds”

  1. I saw it over the weekend thought it was a great adaptation to the original 1953 movie directed by Byron Haskin. The character shallowness War of the Worlds 2005 didn't seem to really matter to me. It was the rocky ride I went for, why else see this type of film if it didn't leave you at the edge of your seat and make you feel uneasy? The dark reddish coloring of the film made it seem even more ominous bleak and nauseating. I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise style of acting but he managed to raise above his pretty face looks to create a character who was rough and childlike.

    Howard, as you indicated in your review this film wasn't about the reality of real life situations, in which real people do put aside their own self preservation and reach out and save lives at the expense of their own death. Thank goodness this is an universal innateness and goodness to real humanity.