Friday, September 30, 2022

Despite bad ending, rest of 'War of the Worlds' excellent

June 30, 2005

Since when has Tom Cruise ever made a bad movie? The guy is the golden boy of acting and now he has teamed up with director Steven Spielberg. "War of the Worlds" was an excellent film simply because it did just about everything right.

From start to finish, the movie keeps viewers on the edge of their seats - not to see what's next, but because the film is downright scary.

The story begins with Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise), a divorced dock worker who's essentially a jerk and a bad father.

The situation doesn't get any better when his ex-wife Mary Ann (Miranda Otto) drops off their two kids, Robbie (Justin Chatwin) and Rachel (Dakota Fanning), for the weekend. Mary Ann and her fiance head off to Boston to visit her parents.

After the three bump heads and Robbie takes the car for a cruise with no license, all hell begins to break loose. Literally. Large clouds develop in the sky and huge lighting bolts begin to strike the Earth.

This seems normal to Ray until the weather freaks him out, and he's reduced to acting like a child - hiding under the table with his daughter. He gets curious and decides to go out and check what is going on.

His town is taken over by large metal machines that destroy everything in sight with their powerful laser beams.

From this point on, Ray and his two kids run for their lives in an attempt to reach Boston, where he can return them to their mother, but they have to get through an onslaught of Martian militants.

"War of the Worlds," a movie remake of H.G. Wells novel, does just about all the right things.

The story is already compelling - the coming of Martians and their inevitable thirst to exterminate the human race in an attempt to take our land. Still, what makes the story better is the great acting throughout the entire film.

Cruise proves himself once again to be an actor of immense talent. Who can picture Cruise as a dock worker in New Jersey? But he does a great job of being the conceited, self-absorbed character who demonstrated growth during the course of the film. Ray wasn't the ideal person to become a hero, but the love for his children gave him the ability to do that in the film.

The directing was nothing shy of great with Spielberg at the helm. He includes countless humans being destroyed and large machines with aliens that look nothing like E.T. He does a great job of capturing the audience's imaginations.

Overall, the film was right on the money except for the final 10 minutes of the plot, which is really a let down. With a director like Spielberg, the ending could have been less of a disappointment - but the film is still worth checking out.


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