Eve Of The War

Misplaced tension in 'War of the Worlds'
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Author:  eveofthewar [ Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Misplaced tension in 'War of the Worlds'

War of the Worlds" may not be Steven Spielberg's worst movie, but it's certainly one of the most disappointing and frustrating films he's made in the past 10 years.

I say this because the middle 40 minutes of the movie is absolutely brilliant filmmaking, and then -- PLONK! -- the movie stops dead, loses all sense of tension, logic or emotion, and limps pathetically to one of the worst and most implausible endings I've seen.

The film stars Tom Cruise as Ray Ferrier, a New Jersey dockworker (cuz when you think "New Jersey dockworker," you think "Cruise"). Ray is divorced and is in the middle of a weekend visitation with his two kids, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie (Justin Chatwin), when a lightning storm transports Martian warriors to their killing machines that have been buried beneath the earth for thousands and thousands of years.

The machines burst out of the ground and start Blowin' Stuff Up Real Good. Ray grabs his kids, steals the only working vehicle in town and speeds away from the carnage toward Boston. Why? I guess because once you've conquered the jewel that is Hoboken, what's the point of attacking Boston? Or something. I don't know. You figure it out -- my head hurts.

Now, it takes about a half-hour to get from the beginning of the movie to the first attack, but once the aliens show up, "War of the Worlds" is an amazing piece of filmmaking. It reminded me that when Spielberg is on top of his game, there is no one who can touch him as a director.

The problem, as I said before, is that after that middle 40 minutes of brilliance, the movie grinds to a halt -- and you'll know when it happens the minute you see Tim Robbins, who plays a psycho survivalist who lures Ray and Rachel into the cellar of his farmhouse, which is miraculously spared from destruction by a rampaging hoard of Martian killing machines.

From that point, everything goes south. All the tension and emotion that was building up is lost, and you spend the next 40 minutes wondering when (or if) this movie is going to get good again.

It doesn't.

"War of the Worlds" -- Running time: 117 minutes; MPAA rating: PG-13


Author:  oever532 [ Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:13 pm ]
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That review is accurate and good, since it's true that the scenes in the house with that Ogilvy guy were boring and too long. Spielberg shouldn't have taken those scenes.

Author:  Loz [ Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:24 pm ]
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oever532 wrote:
That review is accurate and good, since it's true that the scenes in the house with that Ogilvy guy were boring and too long. Spielberg shouldn't have taken those scenes.

I enjoyed those scenes. Except for when the Aliens came down into the cellar. I just wish the movie had been a bit longer, with more time given to Tripods ripping up the country.

Author:  oever532 [ Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:32 am ]
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Right. Some more Tripod action would have made movie even better.

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:23 pm ]
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:wink: Wait for the extended DVD :wink:

Author:  Leper Messiah [ Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:58 am ]
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that reviewer is clearly not a WOTW fan, and is also clearly a fan of lots of blowing up stuff and independance day style hi-jinx. I was against the ending for other reasons but this guy just seems diappointed humans didnt save the day by themselves. and the ruined house scene was the best of the movie IMO, but it wasnt really for your average action movie/tom cruise fan

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