"From thereon, bang bang die die run run drive drive mad mobs angry people scared people annoying kid annoying brother scared father mad people more dead people dead dead dead and then aliens aliens and more aliens and machines and blood and then more people more birds more firepower family reunited and then the end."
I am not planning to write a full review on this movie. The following is my personal opinion. Some spoilers included.
Tom Cruise .... Ray Ferrier
Justin Chatwin .... Robbie Ferrier
Dakota Fanning .... Rachel Ferrier
Tim Robbins .... Ogilvy
Miranda Otto .... Mary Ann Ferrier
David Alan Basche .... Tim
Yul Vazquez .... Julio
Morgan Freeman .... Narrator
Taken from imdb.com
Ray Ferrier is a working class man living in New Jersey. He's estranged from his family, his life isn't in order, and he's too caught up with himself. But the unthinkable and, ultimately, the unexpected happens to him in an extraordinary sense. His small town life is shaken violently by the arrival of destructive intruders: Aliens which have come en masse to destroy Earth. As they plow through the country in a wave of mass destruction and violence, Ray must come to the defense of his children. As the world must fend for itself by a new and very advanced enemy not of this world, it's inhabitants must save humanity from a far greater force that threatens to destroy it.
I chose this movie over Batman Begins. I just don't feel like watching Batman Returns. Anyway, 30 minutes of ads in the cinema, saw previews of The Fantastic Four (awesome special effects, lousy acting, wonder if there is a storyline? The villain is from Nip/Tuck, a bonus point for me), King Kong (reminds of LOTR because of the sweeping camera works and all but looks good, wanna watch), and some other forgettable movies and tons of ads. Then the movie started, VERY SLOWWWWWLY and then we see the aliens in a machine SLOWWWWWLY rising up in a very thick smoke, for the longest of time and then wow! From thereon, bang bang die die run run drive drive mad mobs angry people scared people annoying kid annoying brother scared father mad people more dead people dead dead dead and then aliens aliens and more aliens and machines and blood and then more people more birds more firepower family reunited and then the end.
Very good movie in the sense great special effects, the machines look scary, the alients look like from Independance Day. Tom Cruise was surprisingly good in his acting as a very human and ordinary father but still I can't shake off the Tom Cruise image, too glamarous but I must admit, he did well. But a better actor would have done better, maybe Oscar worthy performance because his character went through a lot of things, including murder in just a few days.
Dakota Fanning didn't look nor behave like a 10 year old, she can act very well but lacked the spontaneity and her sudden annoying screams was annoying. THe boy who played her brother was moody from the beginning till the end. If I was the father I would have slapped him. Tim Robbins is in here, did something in a scene that probably is this movie's best scene and scariest.
But what I don't get is how come nobody ever saw the machines buried underground? How undergroud was underground? And why the aliens who studied us wanted to exterminate us? Why did they die in the end? There was an explanation but I didn't buy that explanation. Too simple.
After 30 minutes of this movie, I was thinking how on Earth Tom Cruise was going to kill the aliens, how are the people gonna win because the killings were never ending but well Tom Cruise did kill some aliens but not in a very glamarous way. I like this fact but I thought the director would do better to change the title from War of the Worlds to Saving The Ferriers (whatever his surname was). I mean the movie is more on the characters than the war, the aliens, the effort to kill them all. It's more on how Tom and his children survived through whatever means but this movie never showed in the first place how estranged they were and we knew they had a very rocky relationship. Not enough but then this movie is about special effects so watch it for that.
Overall I must say jolly good bang bang kill kill movie with a bit of some provoking scenes that will surely make you question your morals but I would have done what Tom did. However at times the movie tends to steer towards the stupid side with some scenes, mostly the killings but well this IS a movie about people being killed. Acting was generally not needed, just scream cry shout run and hide. Memorable scenes are a few, some very scary ones like bodies floating on the river but somehow overshadowed by the rude manners of the two young ones in this movie. I am not a fan of Dakota Fanning, though I acknowledge she is a skilled actress, better than some.
Watch it. You will definitely like it but perhaps in the end you'll kinda realise this movie really has no story. The aliens and the so called war are only an excuse to show how a family apart by the many dangerous obstacles became a family of one again. And the focus is in America only with mentions of the world but very few. As for the war, not much. The focus is narrowed down and I do not know whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. Depends on your emphasis. I enjoyed it but left the cinema with more questions about the war, the aliens and their endings than when starting this movie. One plus point though; no dogs and more importantly now dogs who are assumed dead but survived it all. Saw only dead cows and rats though. What happened to all the dogs?
A better alternative to this movie which is even narrower in its focus and yet so much more fulfilling and very very scary without the big special effects with an even cuter girl is Signs, one of the b est movie there is that really has a message. Sometimes preachy, like Paulo Coelho's books but it meant well. You can say War Of The Worlds is Independance Day with more heart and a bit more brain. But it is definitely not Signs.
Watch it but don't hope for answers to your "HOW COME AH?" "WHY LIKE THAT ONE???" "BUT HOW THE ALIENS DIED? BIRD SHIT ISSIT?". You'll just hurt yourself thinking too much. Believe me, I almost sprained my ankle when I was walking out of the theatre because I was wondering how it really ended.