Writer: Josh Friedman, David Koepp (Screenplay) H.G. Wells (Novel)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins, Rick Gonzalez, Yul Vazquez
Plot: As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival.
Tagline – They’re already here
Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Sci-Fi Spectacular
Story: War of the Worlds starts when the deadbeat dad figure Ray (Cruise) is left to look after his children Rachel (Fanning) and Robbie (Chatwin) for a weekend, while he ex-wife Mary Ann (Otto) goes away with her new partner. We see early on the problems and strain in the relationship, but when an unknow storm hit New York a robotic creature comes out of the ground, killing everyone.
Ray grabs his kids and gets the hell out of the city racing across the country in hope of getting to Mary Ann where the kids want to be, the problem is the America is going into chaos and it becomes survival of the fittest against these unkillable robots.
Thoughts on War of the Worlds
Characters – Ray is the deadbeat dad that has always be a let down to his kids, he doesn’t live in the nicest house, but the neighbours all love him. He is distant from his children after the divorce and after the attack happens this everyday man must do everything he can to keep his children safe. Rachel is his youngest child, she is insecure about being away from her mother, needing to put trust in her father, reacting panicked during the attacks like a young girl would, but strangely offering mature advice with dealing with the older brother. Mary Ann is the ex-wife and mother that is the target for the journey across America. Robbie is the eldest son that does hate his father, as he sees the good in his father he wants to join the fight back against the invaders. Harlan Ogilvy is a stranger that offers help only to be the one that could put Ray’s family in the most danger.
Performances – Tom Cruise is wonderful in this leading role, he proves he can be the everyman in this role, he shows the vulnerable moments needed as his character only has one goal, save his family. Dakota Fanning continued to show she was a force in the future of Hollywood with her performance where she shines. Tim Robbins gives us a truly creepy character while the rest of the cast is great too.
Story – The story is a modern version of one of the greatest radio recordings of all time, we bottle the story down nicely to focus on one father that is doing everything he can to keep his children safe during an alien invasion. Sure, the ending is weak, but this is much like Jurassic Park, it isn’t about the aliens, its about the people surviving the situation. The story is simple to follow to as we see the family getting caught up in different moments of the attack each one showing the panic that would surround it.
Adventure/Sci-Fi – The adventure is filled with peril and shock as the family races for survival, this survival will show the horrors of what will happen if they don’t become safe. The sci-fi side of the film showed us just how the aliens came to invade, came rom beneath us and prepared against our own weapons.
Settings – The film shows us the destruction of the aliens leave in their path, we see how the big cities are destroyed and how the quiet location are just as dangerous.
Special Effects – The effects for the film are fantastic, from the early destruction to the special look of the wide shots of the attack going on.
Final Thoughts – This is easily one of the great modern sci-fi films, it modernises one of the greatest stories, we have excellent special effects and a story that is simple enough to be effective.
Overall: Sci-Fi fans must be watching.