War of the Worlds is a 2005 American science fiction disaster film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh Friedman and David Koepp, loosely based on the novel of the same title by H. G. Wells. It stars Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Miranda Otto and Tim Robbins, with narration by Morgan Freeman. In the film, an American dock worker is forced to look after his children, from whom he lives separately, and struggles to protect them and reunite them with their mother when extraterrestrials invade the Earth and devastate cities with towering war machines.
The film was shot in 73 days, using five different sound stages as well as locations in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. The film was surrounded by a secrecy campaign so few details would be leaked before its release. Tie-in promotions were made with several companies, including Hitachi. The film was released in the United States on June 29 and in United Kingdom on July 1. War of the Worlds was a box office success, and became 2005’s fourth most successful film both domestically, with $234 million in North America, and $591 million overall. At the time of release, it was the highest-grossing film starring Tom Cruise.
Steven Spielberg tackling a remake of one of the greatest science fiction films of all time and it stars Tom Cruise? How can you go wrong? Well….this movie did.
It’s not a bad movie by any means but when the film suffers, it really suffers.
First the positives, I think the visual effects are very nicely done, the designs on the alien ship are nicely done, the plane crash scene is pretty impressive, you can actually still see that plane they used at Universal Studios Hollywood on the backlot tour.
Also, the cast does a good enough job working with what they have to work with storywise, Tom Cruise is pretty good in this, Dakota Fanning does a nice job here, Tim Robbins has a good little role in this. The cast does work with the material here nicely.
Where the film begins to take its’ downfall is in the story department, the story itself is really generic and bland and while the original film’s reveal of the aliens was actually nicely done, the reveal of this film’s aliens are just like “wait, that’s it?” because the aliens here are so generic looking, it’s not even funny. I mean, come on, Steven Spielberg, you created one of the most memorable alien characters ever and you can’t even make the aliens here look any good?
War Of The Worlds is just okay, it’s not the worst movie ever but it’s not one of the best, it’s a mixed bag of a movie where the acting works and the visuals still hold up but it’s the story that fails to gain any traction in the end.