Friday, July 01, 2005

War of the Worlds: Morbid, Mindless Special Effects

I'll keep this simple and to the point. Spielberg forgot an essential ingredient to any story: a hero. He also needlessly exhumed imagery of September 11th that I personally did not want to see serialized in a science fiction borderline horror story.

ILM once again dazzled with their special effects, but when the movie is hollow and lacks any emotional punch: Who cares?

War of the Worlds is a movie I probably won't willingly watch for a long time. It lacks any redeeming moments, Tom Cruise is only mildly believable as a working class dad and Dakota Fanning's solid performance is wasted because her character never does anything except shriek.
I could have tolerated the dark, morbid aspects of the film had Spielberg rewarded the audience with any semblance of redemption. Instead the character arcs are weak, we are forced to watch scene after scene of torturous "vaporizings" and other deaths and until the last few frames never actually see any real progression in the overall story (man vs. aliens).

See Batman Begins instead: a movie crafted with care and focused exactly where it should be: on plot and character.

Oh and someone tell Tom Cruise to shut the hell up.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this point, I can only hope that you know that Speilberg did not write the plot for War of the Worlds.

It was an excellent adaptation given that the book was written in 1898. The characters weren't well developed in the book and they are equally undeveloped in the film.

I think it's just fine.


1:46 AM  
Blogger greg said...

Steven Spielberg collaborates on nearly every script he works on. In this case he worked with a very talented writer (David Koepp - Jurassic Park, Stir of Echoes, etc.)

My beef was mostly with how the movie was executed, not really the storyline. Most people whine and complain about the ending, which didn't bother me in the least. It's science fiction- you get what you pay for.

What I DID have a problem with, was Spielberg's attempt to associate this refugee picture with real events (i.e. 9/11, the Holocaust etc.)

It served no purpose in my estimation other than to sap the movie of what little zest it had, and drudge up memories I prefer to leave to the sanctity in which they were encountered- reality.

10:52 PM  

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