War of the Worlds

THEY’RE ALREADY HERE.

waroftheworlds05When tripods taller than buildings suddenly burst out from under the ground and start blasting everything and everyone to pieces, Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) grabs his kids and runs for dear life. The second big-screen Hollywood adaptation of the old H.G. Wells classic is largely faithful, displaying both the strengths and weaknesses of the novel. It’s an exciting fantasy that seems surprisingly relevant in a time when acts of terrorism look like war; the whole atmosphere is terrifying. Taking to Cruise as the ambiguous hero is easy and the actors keep the emotional part of the film afloat, although things wrap up too neatly in the final sequence.

2005-U.S. 116 min. Color. Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Colin Wilson. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Novel: H.G. Wells. Cast: Tom Cruise (Ray Ferrier), Dakota Fanning (Rachel Ferrier), Miranda Otto (Mary Ann), Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins, Rick Gonzalez… Amy Ryan. Narrated by Morgan Freeman.

Trivia: Gene Barry and Anne Robinson appear in this film; they starred in the 1953 version and Robinson in the 1988 TV series as well.

Last word: “We live in a world in which we are able to communicate very quickly in many different ways, and yet we find communicating more difficult than ever. When in fact we need communication more urgently than ever, because the enemies that threaten us are universal: drugs, illiteracy and crime. We have to fight against them together. The film is a metaphor for that battle.” (Cruise, Der Spiegel)

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