War of the Worlds - II... Jun 29, 2005 17:06:23 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jun 29, 2005 17:06:23 GMT -6
War of the Worlds - II
I had some free time this afternoon and thought I would take in the remake of a good movie. I was less than enthralled.
It's a good movie, but it just doesn't hit the mark. It focuses on Cruise's character much too much and his personal family life. He's a divorced with kids that don't respect him. I just didn't care and it spends agonizing time explaining this to us. Cuise spends most of the movie running away...should have been called "The running man."
The movie deviates somewhat from the original by the invaders rising up from the ground, instead of from space. Now, the Godzilla-like battle cry from the machines is cool and rather scary and the special effects are nice, but the interaction and battle between the machines and humans is just too little too short. It almost gets it, but is unable to maintain the suspense and total superiority of the invaders. He takes out a tripod with two hand grenades...now c'mon! The writing and dialog is also weak. What happened Spielberg?
Also, the Tim Robbins segment was totally not necessary, as it did not add to the plot, and I think it took away valuable time from the conflict. The little girl with her paranoia is ok, she's smart, but I think they could have used her better. And the son who wants to fight the aliens was boring and uninspiring. Just a punk kid.
This isn't a movie about man vs. alien. It's more about survival and getting out of the way of the disintegrator rays, the tripods and fighting in keeping the family close. What short encounters we see in defending the planet are good, and wish we saw more. But it stays in the Boston area throughout, so we don't get a full Earth invasion feeling. No mention that the invaders are from Mars.
In the original, the main character is a professor, smart as a whip and able to figure things out. Here, the main guy is a blue collar worker who is frail and unsure of his footing most of the time. The breakdown of society is here too, but better demonstrated 50 years ago.
I think Spielberg is slipping. This could have been a great film, man against the invaders, but it ends with a whimper. It will probably entertain the easily amused, but for those of us who read the book and saw the original...it falls way short.
It's an "ok" flick and worth seeing, but catch the original as it's much better...even with the antiquated 1950's special effects.