War of the Worlds (2005)

PG-13   |    |  Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller


War of the Worlds (2005) Poster

An updated version of H.G Wells' seminal sci-fi classic about an alien invasion threatening the future of humanity. The catastrophic nightmare is depicted through the eyes of one American family fighting for survival.


6.5/10
421,032

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User Reviews


9 July 2005 | mstomaso
7
| A good take on the Wells story. Better than the 1953 classic in some ways
First - a quick rebuttal: The peanut butter sandwich which seemed to stick to the window impossibly. This was a very visually interesting scene. In fact, the scene was shot from inside the house, and Cruise was shot in reflection against the window - so there is no problem here other than the reviewer not thinking what they were seeing through.

Now on to the review...

This film follows Tom Cruise - playing a not-very-adult divorced father - and his two kids through the Wellsian version of The War of the Worlds. Despite the fact that the film focuses exclusively on the harrowing experiences of this somewhat dysfunctional family, in a very basic way it preserves the elements of the original novel. As with Wells' book, a science savvy viewer will pick up on the biological plausibility of the main plot and realize the brilliance of Wells original points. Scientifically educated viewers will also recognize the geological impossibility of it. Neither of these facts should detract from the entertainment value of this interesting and exciting film. After all, it is a testament to Wells' genius that a novel written nearly 100 years ago still holds our attention today, and is still regarded as an intelligent take on improbable events.

An alien species, about which nothing is really known, has been planning to take over and terraform earth for millenia, or perhaps much longer. Using unknown technology, they manage to emplace operatives in enormous tripod machines equipped with horrendous weapons that basically carbonize any life forms they take aim at. The tripods had been implanted deep in the earth long before the advent of our species. There simply is no stopping the invasion. Cruise, whose character is not really built for heroism, digs deep into his soul to protect his children as they attempt to make it to Boston to reunite with his estranged wife and her new family.

Before I discuss the technical merits of the film, and the lavish production values, I feel that I need to make a comment on Dakota Fanning. Ms. Fanning gives one of the best performances I have ever seen a sub-12 year old give in The War of the Worlds. She is a match for Cruise, and actually manages to steal several scenes from him. The acting in this film is uniformly good, but Fanning really stood out.

Spielberg and his team make seemingly impossible film visions come alive in a uniquely well realized manner. War of the Worlds is one of the most visually stunning films I have seen in a long time. Though I would not call the special effects innovative, they are, more importantly, convincing and never over-done. The nearly first person story telling technique is both original and effective, and the non-heroism of Cruise's character makes for a much more compelling plot than I expected to see. There are indeed some problems with believability, but let me ask - why would anybody go to this film expecting something more realistic than a fairy tale?

Recommended for Wells fans, fans of the original 1953 adaptation, and action sci-fi fans. Mildly recommended to the average cinema-goer.

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Details

Release Date:

29 June 2005

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

Filming Locations

Athens, New York, USA

Box Office

Budget:

$132,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,878,725 3 July 2005

Gross USA:

$234,280,354

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$603,873,119

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