Saturday, January 10, 2009

War of the Worlds. B-

There is a lot to like on the technical side of Steven Spielberg's 'War of the Worlds,' which is based off of the novel by H. G. Wells. But on the emotional side there is very little to like. By emotional I don't mean sentimental, I mean realistic. Characters who are realistic and who we care about. Surprisingly Spielberg doesn't seem to be going for that this time. He seems to only care about the action, which is a bit of surprise considering the fact that most of his films are very thoughtful. 'War of the Worlds' seems to be a good choice for Spieberg since he loves to direct movies about Aliens. Here we don't get much of a glimpse at the actual Aliens, but rather machines that carry the Aliens called Tripods. The movie is very simple. No plot twists here. Tom Cruise plays Ray Ferrier, a man who has recently divorced his wife. His two kids, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie (Justin Chatwin) have come to stay with their father for a few days. Rachel is easy going and gets along with her father just fine. But there is a detachment between Ray and Robbie. (as a bit of a joke, the Ray wears a Yankee cap and Robbie a Red Sox cap) Soon after they arrive the clouds turn dark and the Aliens begin to come. And that's 'War of the World's' a movie that is scary, intense, and very fun to watch, but disappointing simply because we usually get a little more from Spielberg. Another plus is the acting of Fanning, who never disappoints in her movies. And Cruise actually is pretty good here. I think he always is just as long as he doesn't play a complicated character. In this he is anything but complicated.

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