War of the Worlds (2005)

War of the Worlds (2005)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Tom Cruise as Ray Ferrier, Dakota Fanning as Rachel Ferrier, Miranda Otto as Mary Ann, Justin Chatwin as Robbie, Tim Robbins as Harlan Ogilvy, Rick Gonzalez as Vincent, Yul Vazquez as Julio (as Yul Vázquez), Lenny Venito as Manny the Mechanic, Lisa Ann Walter as Bartender, Ann Robinson as Grandmother, Gene Barry as Grandfather, David Alan Basche as Tim, Roz Abrams as Herself, Michael Brownlee as TV Reporter, Osaka, Camillia Sanes as News Producer

This movie had huge potential. Everything to make this a
science-fiction classic masterpiece were present; Spielberg's
directing, a great concept, ILM special effects, Tom Cruise as the main
character and lots of other professionals involved both in front and
behind the cameras. Then where did it go wrong? The answer to that is
the script. The story is very simple and lacks a real clear plot line.
Basically the movie is only about Tom Cruise and his two children
running and driving from city to city, from the aliens and their
destructive Tripod-machines. Exactly why are we, out of all the people,
following these persons? The character development is lacking, just as
much as the story does. Both lack development and depth.

Of course the movie is by no means an horrible movie but it's just that
the movie is a bit disappointing because of the fact that it had so
much more potential. It still is a good and certainly spectacular movie
to watch but it's not a movie people will still talk about in 5 or 10
years from now. The story makes this movie a bit of an easily
forgettable movie that doesn't leave an huge impression afterward, even
though the movie itself is pure eye-candy to watch.

There is no doubt about it that Spielberg is a great director. He
directs his actors in this movie very well and everyone in the movie
gives an amazing performance, especially Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning.
Tom Cruise for once again doesn't play the action hero. He is an
average Joe instead and I think he did this in a very good and
convincing. Spielberg also uses the special effects very well. He
doesn't use the special effects to impress the audience as much as
possible, with lots of spectacular and action filled sequences, which
he could had easily had done, he uses them as a tool to tell the story
with instead. The movie is purely told from Tom Cruise and his family's
perspective, because of this the movie gets a very realistic feeling.
We don't get to see any close-ups of the Tripods and how they destroy
entire cities and fight off the American army. I like this approach. It
makes "War of the Worlds" different from many other alien-invasion
movies. It because of this certainly is one of the most believable and
realistic alien-invasion movies, along with "Signs".

Visually there also is absolutely nothing wrong with this movie. The
special effects from ILM are very impressive and look extremely
convincing. The cinematography by Janusz Kaminski is also simply
phenomenal at times and is typically gritty, which certainly adds to
the tense and realistic atmosphere of the movie.

Unlike others, to me the ending didn't came really abrupt. But perhaps
this was because to me the ending was already spoiled, thanks to the
movie it's soundtrack, which featured the final narration of Morgan
Freeman explaining how the movie ended. So I already knew what to
expect. To be perfectly honest I liked the ending and I couldn't think
of any other, or better way to end this movie, without losing any of
its realism and credibility. I can understand how it might seem lame
and sudden to most though but for me it was satisfying enough.

It certainly is a movie that will receive one or two, most likely,
technical Acedemy Awards. And it deserves to. There isn't an awful lot
wrong with this movie but it truly is the simple story that prevents
this movie from being a classic or masterpiece. I still regard this
movie as one of the must sees of 2005 simply because of the movie its
look and acting. You can tell by watching this movie that there was
lots of talent involved, both in front and behind the cameras.
Especially Spielberg's touch still makes this movie better than just
the average alien-invasion movie but still not even he can prevent this
movie from being a bit of a disappointment. Not his or anybody else
his/her fault, simply blame it on the script.


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