War of the Worlds (2005) Review
Written by: Chad Langen
My expectations were unusually high for this film, yet why wouldn't they be? This is Spielberg and when it comes to special effects, he knows a thing or two. The idea of Spielberg doing a remake, however, was definitely a concern. I know, why should I be concerned? Spielberg has more films involving aliens under his name then any other director in Hollywood. So by keeping this in mind it's not too hard to overcome your worries, and after finally viewing the film the anxiety is over. The only thought going through your head is "Wow, I've got to see this again".
The story involves (as if you couldn't tell from the title) an alien invasion. However, unlike most of these types of films where our attention is constantly divided amongst several individuals, our main focus is on one family and their struggle to stay alive during the invasion. The idea itself might sound limiting, but I out of all people should know not to be quick to judge. Although the man may appear to be getting old, Spielberg definitely has some surprises up his sleeve in this action-packed thrill ride.
We open on Ray; a divorced middle-class male who we quickly realize is self-centered and obnoxious. He arrives late to his home where his ex-wife is waiting after dropping off the kids. After a few wise-cracks toward her and the kids he is left alone with the two children who would rather stay in their shared bedroom listening to music than outside witnessing and actual alien invasion.
Meanwhile, after a long day's work, Ray crashes for a few hours. When he awakens he is told by his daughter that his son has taken the car. This leads Ray outside where the real action begins. An unusual storm appears to be moving over the city, and when a series of unsettling lightening strikes take place, it is clear that something strange is happening around the inhabitants. With that said, a group of unfamiliar machines begin to arise from the ground and thus the extermination of the human race begins. Humans run for their lives as they are zapped by beams of light and turned to ashes in an instant. The rest of the story follows Ray and his children fighting for their lives in a hopeless struggle to reach Boston where the rest of the family has taken safety.
War of the Worlds has the action of Independence Day and the drama of Signs combined into a masterpiece that is not only one of Spielberg’s best works, but the best alien invasion movie ever. With overwhelming special effects and horrific images, War of the Worlds will have you praying for survivors.
The story is well written and fast-paced. The only slow scene involves Tim Robbins's character trying to convince Tom Cruise's character to battle the aliens alongside him to the death. The rest of the film is so fast-paced that it'll be over just as soon as it started.
As always, Spielberg does an incredible job with directing. Much like his other films, each scene builds loads of tension. It's about time the man realizes that aliens aren't cut and cuddly after all, but out to kill off the entire human race. Besides, isn't this what people want to see?
So yes, without further reasoning War of the Worlds is a must see. It's a fast-paced and unpredictable thrill ride that is most likely going to cause a few nightmares in the long run, but it's well worth it. See this film in theaters for this is definitely a big screen experience.