War of the Worlds (2005) Aliens are attacking Earth! And they've knocked out all electrical and battery-operated machinery as part of their dastardly plan. And yet, there's some dude videotaping…
DVD Review

War of the Worlds (2005)

Dakota Fanning, War of the Worlds | TAKEN, AGAIN Fanning dreams of a World without war
Image credit: War of the Worlds: Frank Masi
TAKEN, AGAIN Fanning dreams of a World without war
EW's GRADE
C+

Details Release Date: Nov 22, 2005; DVD Release Date: Nov 22, 2005; Movie Rated: PG-13; Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy; With: Tom Cruise; Distributors: DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures; More

Aliens are attacking Earth! And they've knocked out all electrical and battery-operated machinery as part of their dastardly plan. And yet, there's some dude videotaping the whole thing on his camcorder. Hmm... Such nonsensical elements prove more maddening than any extraterrestrial in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. (Especially when the E.T.'s can't decide whether they're supposed to be zapping people or drinking their blood.) Yes, there are visually stunning spectacles, but there's no substance behind the style, and an abrupt ending, while faithful to Wells, is laughably anticlimactic. In one of several mildly engaging EXTRAS on the production and Wells' legacy, screenwriter David Koepp discusses his list of destruction- movie clichés he was intent on avoiding (like famous landmarks being blown up). Evidently, multiple shots of masses of people standing still while staring up at their impending doom, the token crazy survivalist guy in an underground bunker (poor Tim Robbins), and an impossibly happy reunion ending were nowhere on that list.

Originally posted Nov 18, 2005 Published in issue #851 Nov 25, 2005 Order article reprints
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