War of the Worlds
Details: (M), 116 mins, United States, English
Synopsis: An ordinary man has to protect his children against alien invaders in this science fiction thriller, freely adapted from the classic story by H.G. Wells. Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) is a dockworker living in New Jersey, divorced from his first wife Mary Ann (Miranda Otto) and estranged from his two children Rachel and Robbie (Dakota Fanning and Justin Chatwin), of whom he has custody on weekends. On one such visitation, looking after the kids becomes a little more difficult when, after a series of strange lighting storms hit his neighborhood, Ray discovers that a fleet of death-ray robotic spaceships have emerged nearby, part of the first wave of an all-out alien invasion of the Earth.
It's remake and remodel time again now Steven Spielberg directs the second screen adaptation of H. G. Wells classic novel War of the Worlds. Tom Cruise plays Ray Ferrier an inept dad that is divorced from his wife Miranda Otto. When the kids Rachel, Dakota Fanning and older brother Robbie, Justin Chatwin are dropped for the weekend all hell breaks loose, not just domestically. At first an unusual lightning storm appears and then at an intersection near Ray's house a massive three legged war machine emerges and destroys everyone and everything in sight. It's the beginning of an alien invasion of earth and it's time for Ray to become a real dad and protect his children from this impending threat.
Spielberg's War of the Worlds is certainly a much darker and frightening film than George Pal's 1953 version. He has drawn heavily on the original art design incorporating spectacular scenes of destruction and panic and of course a lot more blood. Although breathtaking and exhilarating to watch, the story plateaus out far too quickly and not enough time is spent on character development. There are some absurd coincidences that may have you scratching your head but as a grand piece of escapist cinema it's defiantly an enjoyable ride.
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