War Of The Worlds

Saw War Of The Worlds (2005) in the cinema on Sunday night, and I have to say that I was jolly impressed. I was slightly dubious about it because of a number of reasons, most notably:

  1. it is a remake
  2. of something that was originally not based in the US
  3. and written by a famous non-American author
  4. that has Tom Cruise in it
  5. and is directed by Stephen “Hollywood Ending” Spielberg
  6. and had the potential to be rather similar to Independence Day

The last point proved to be very false (save perhaps for the physical appearance of the aliens themselves), and despite the other points it was actually a remarkably good film. It’s certified 12A, but it is genuinely very frightening in some parts and probably should be a 15. There’s a couple of things I don’t like about it, in that there’s a glaring goof early on in the film when someone’s using a camcorder after an electromagnetic pulse.

There’s also the ending scene where everyone’s alive and well with the grandparents in their fresh, clean Christmas-present knitwear smiling in a somehow unscathed street in Boston, but to be fair this is actually true to the original, where the journalist returns to his alive and well family in an otherwise completed levelled Leatherhead, so that was very convenient for the Hollywood ending.

I liked the way that you didn’t see the big picture. Rather like Signs, you only get to see events from the perspective of the central characters, which are normal working people, rather than presidents and military generals and unsung heros. There was also none of the rubbish like “… and only one ordinary man has the key!“, Cruise’s character isn’t a hero, he’s just a normal man trying to protect his family. The events of the aliens’ demise simply unfold around him, he has nothing to do with it. It was very gritty and very real in that respect, he remained totally helpless and powerless.

Definitely a DVD purchase, possibly even a second viewing in the cinema.