Wednesday, July 6, 2005

War of the Worlds

This movie was much better than I thought it would be when I first saw the previews. It wasn't perfect but it was of two of the best versions I have seen. In this version Tom Cruise stars as Ray Farrier, a divorced father whose children are visiting him while his wife is away with her new husband. His two children Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie (Justin Chatwin) have lost respect for him. The movie begins with Ray coming home late to meet his children after a long work night. We are shown the lousy condition his house is in. He doesn't have any food in his fridge and his children don't respect him. Most of the reviews I read said that his character was one that we had to develop respect for, but I really felt sypathetic towards him from the beggining, even sorry for him. His wife and her new husband seem to have ruined his life.

I think the greatest thing about the movie (besides the plot) was the characterization. Giving Ray a family was an excellent move. It gave depth to his character he wouldn't have otherwise had. Both Rachel and Robbie were excellent characters as well. I liked how Robbie had to leave and go after the machines as a form of senseless revenge.

Everything about the movie was excellent. From the beginning narration with the bacteria, to the plot (adapted from the book by H.G. Wells), to the special effects and the visual detail.
I really enjoyed seeing all the people walking from town to town trying to get away from the aliens, even though they didn't know where they were going. It really added to the feeling of an exodus.

Some idiot on imdb is complaing that the plot isn't very good, because we don't get very many details, but I don't think that we really need to know how and why the aliens came. Like many important events in our life we often never know the whole story. One of the reasons why this movie works so well is because it is told from the point of view of one average guy (Ray Ferris) who somehow managed to live through the event.

Overall I felt Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds was excellent. Good enough to watch again and good enough to get me to read the book and try to figure out why I thought it was overrated.

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