Blog Entry

War of the Worlds, My Review

First, I have a confession before we go on with this movie review. Prior of entering the movie theater, I confess I had heard conflicting reviews about the movie, though more negative reviews than positive ones. The negative criticisms were mainly on two areas: flawed story and terrible acting from Tom Cruise. The only positive review I got was from a friend who read the book written by H.G. Wells in 1898. He said that the movie rocked, but after a lunch discussion he did admit that in many parts of the movie there were many stupid mistakes. Having the above said, it makes sense to say that during and after the viewing of the movie, I was very critical about this particular movie. In fact, I did catch many bloopers in the movie, and the movie became less convincing, powerful and entertaining to the viewers due to so many clumsy mistakes. Indeed, I did not expect this from a famed director.

War of the Worlds 1

Now, before you read on my list of bloopers and flaws, please be forewarned that they contain heavy spoilers. So if you have not yet watched the movie, like we say in Chinese, think three times before you take any action.

Finding #1: According to the original book, the alien invaders were from Mars, but now we already know that there are no living creatures on Mars. So Steven changed the plot a little bit, and the origin of the aliens is not explained in the movie. They simply come from another planet riding storm clouds. No one knows where they are coming from.

War of the Worlds 2

Finding #2: After the formidable storm and the unusual lightening strikes, all electronics stopped functioning. All the cars on the streets stopped. Ray came out from under the table; the lights in house were out, also the phone, his watch and his cellular phone. All electronics were out. But a little bit later on, when the gigantic machine came out from underground, there was a person in the panicked crowd using a digital recorder filming the alien machine. Don’t ask me why, it doesn’t make sense!

Finding #3: From the crackpot played by Tim Robbins, we were told that these machines were long buried under the ground, before even the existence of human civilization. Let’s assume it is true, then why didn’t they just take over the earth back then. It would be so much easier without the resistance of human (although our resistance is weak and almost in vain). Besides, it is not very smart to use machines buried thousands of years ago for an invasion; shouldn’t they have more advanced machines or weapons at the time of the attack? Maybe I shouldn’t take the information too seriously, since it is told by a lunatic.

War of the Worlds 3

Finding #4: From the monologue in the beginning, and also the information given by the crackpot, the aliens planned their attack meticulously and carefully long ago. It was not an impulsive attack, but a premeditated and well-planned invasion or extermination. Then it really didn’t make sense, when at the end they failed merely because they were infected and killed by virus and disease. They should have thought about this aspect of life on earth before the attack, because they are more intelligent than us.

War of the Worlds 4

Finding #5: This might not a blooper; it’s just something that I did not understand in the movie theater. In the beginning of the movie, the aliens use tripod machines to shoot out laser, and human become ashes. But in the middle of movie, suddenly the machines started to suck human’s blood and spit out to nourish some kind of red bloody plant. The movie never told us why, but according to my friend who read the book; this is how the story in the book goes. But to a person who never read the book like me, I was completely lost in the middle of the viewing.

War of the Worlds 5

Conclusion

Beside numerous bloopers or rather inexplicable parts of the story, many shots in the movie are beautifully portrayed, and of course the sound system in the movie theater made my money a little worthy. There are parts of the movie that built good suspense, especially before the tripod machines’ appearance. But as the most anticipated movie in the summer, it delivered more disappointment than satisfaction to me. However I still recommend seeing it in the movie theater, because I think if you watch it at home the movie would be even less compelling.

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