War of the Worlds

Saw Spielberg’s remake of War of the Worlds today with Ray and little G. Not bad. Not good either though. The original film has a number of very iconic moments and Spielberg saw fit to pay homage to a selection of them, which was nice.

On the downside though there were a variety of glaring inconsistencies in the picture. During the early scenes after the “lightning storm” all electrical devices, including Tom Cruise’s characters battery powered wrist watch, stop working due to “EMP” yet right in the middle of the first tripod attack some bozo is filming it on a digital handy cam. Speilberg even zooms in on the cracked camera’s LCD after its owner gets vapourised. I guess EMP only effects NiCd batteries. Dumb, to say the least.

Second, when Tom and daughter are hiding in the basement of a house from the “evil space ship eye probe thingy” they manage to evade it by being “quiet” and hiding behind a mirror. An alien race capable of traveling the void of interstellar space, who’s laid a trap for humanity many thousands (maybe millions) of years in the making, hasn’t got infrared or x-ray sensors on their fancy death dealing vehicles? Yeah right.

Also, what’s with the sudden switch from turning all the humans they come across into ash to suddenly turning them into liquid “blood and bone” fertilizer. If you’re going to try and terraform a planet into some sort of alien splatter house film paradise, I think you’re being a tad gratuitous and wasteful at the outset.

And the final and most stupendously stupid problem with the script wasn’t really Spielberg’s fault, but rather that of H.G. Wells. Advanced alien race, comes to take over planet, ends up being killed by germs, bugs, whatever. Aha. I guess these guys weren’t very experienced at the whole planet distruction business. Lowest bidders for the contract I guess.

The book, written in the 19th Century, I can forgive. It was extremely forward thinking Sci-Fi back then. However in the 21st Century we’re a little smarter and as such this just doesn’t wash. A nice film to look at but the story is extremely light and not overly intelligent.

Rating: 2/5


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