War of the Worlds
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Miranda Otto, and Tim Robbins.
If there’s one thing a sci-fi guy has to love, it’s the alien invasion movie. It’s been a staple of the genre. Of course, it’s a part of the genre that H.G. Welles created when he wrote his novel War of the Worlds. Ya just knew it was a matter of time until a new movie version was created. But then I heard the remake was the next pairing of Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise. Now, I’m one of the few who really didn’t like Minority Report. So my curiosity on this film nose-dived. But, I was still interested, because I am, after all, a sci-fi guy.
Ray Ferrier (Cruise) is just your average guy. He works an average job. He’s divorced. He’s got his kids for the weekend, and he just can’t relate to them anymore. His teenaged son has grown sullen and moody, and his young daughter (Fanning) changes just about every he sees her. As they settle in for the weekend, there’s some strange lightening storms, and gigantic alien tripods raise out of the Earth and begin destroying everything in sight. Not quite sure what to do, Ray packs up his kids and starts heading for his ex-wife in Boston. As they run through the countryside, staying one step ahead of the aliens, there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind: can they survive?
This film works out to be about 2 hours of running and screaming from aliens. Certain aspects of it all just started feeling familiar…and then it donned on me. This is just Jurassic Park with aliens. But it’s still a fun ride, nonetheless. Cruise is his Cruise-y best, Fanning sure screams good, and Robbins has a very creepy small role as a survivalist getting ready to launch the resistance. It’s chilling, it’s scary, it’s exciting, but it does feel as though you’ve seen it all before. But I will give it this: it was better than Minority Report.