Ray Ferrier is a working class man living in New Jersey. He's estranged from his family, his life isn't in order, and he's too caught up with himself. But the unthinkable and, ultimately, the unexpected happens to him in an extraordinary sense. His small town life is shaken violently by the arrival of destructive intruders: Aliens which have come en masse to destroy Earth. As they plow through the country in a wave of mass destruction and violence, Ray must come to the defense of his children. As the world must fend for itself by a new and very advanced enemy not of this world, its inhabitants must save humanity from a far greater force that threatens to destroy it.
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
. Starring: Tom Cruise
, Dakota Fanning
, Miranda Otto
, Justin Chatwin
, Tim Robbins
, Rick Gonzalez
, Yul Vazquez
, Lenny Venito
, Lisa Ann Walter
, Ann Robinson
, Gene Barry
, David Alan Basche
, Roz Abrams
. Music by: John Williams
The much awaited film of the year! Steven Spielberg directs this epic disaster film that is immeasurable to any other version of H.G. Wells' best-selling novel. Spielberg finally turned the main character into a family man, and he has a name: Ray Ferrier. Ray has a daughter Rachel (Fanning), his estranged wife (Otto) and his son Robbie (Chatwin).
The opening of the film is so true to the novel. The narrator (Freeman) recites the first paragraph of the novel, except they modernized it. The score over the opening sequence during the prologue certainly captures the attention of the audiences, and it keeps the audience in their seats, eagerly awaiting what's going to happen next! The best part of it is that the invasion starts quickly, Spielberg only threw in family moments that were deemed necessary in getting to know the characters.
The attention to suspense and visual effects throughout the film is astounding! The effects aren't like the usual junk produced these days, that looks terribly CG! I respect the great CGI used in the film, the tripods look awesome, they've finally brought the tripods to life with the use of modern day computer technology, and Spielberg has altered the usual spacecrafts that fly over cities and blow things up! This is certainly a one-of-a-kind alien film, that is highly respectable in both visual effects, acting and cinematography! It's still amazingly hard to believe that the film entered pre-production in August 2004, and was completely finished by June 2005! Amazing! I applaud you Spielberg, you inspire me! It's interesting that the rating isn't higher than M 15+, seeing that masses of people die, and the corpses litter a river in one scene, but I suppose it's good that Spielberg didn't use blood or else the film would have surpassed its rating. All we mainly see when people get killed is them being evaporated by the tripod's massive weapons! I mean it may not be blood but he may have pushed the non-use of blood to the limit, because people being evaporated looks disgusting! And so bleeding realistic! I'm happy about the rating being nice and low, because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to see it until I was about 15 or 16 (at the moment I'm 14 years old, and a massive film buff!).
It's interesting the character Tim Robbins plays as well. Robbins plays a mad-man, who's sort of an old hermit. Robbins' character seems to have found and inhabited an old farm-house, obviously abandoned. He then seeks to bring more people into the basement of the farm-house, so he can take the aliens by surprise centuries later, just like they took us! Ray and Rachel stay in the basement, but it is discovered that they're living right under the alien encampment, and they try to stay hidden. Before long Robbins' character goes berserk and doesn't wish to die, hence his nifty retirement from the film! Budding young star Fanning is back in her second film of 2005 (after starring in 'Hide and Seek') and still manages to act to her finest. She may scream a whole lot, but her screams are a real treat, and I applaud young Fanning for being able to act, scream and cry when she was only 10 years old when filming the bloody film! Bravo Fanning. Cruise did a surprisingly good job as Ray, and it's still a mystery to me why people hate his so much these days. He's a great actor, and he puts on a realistic performance. Chatwin was actually not bad as the son as well! He is a talented young actor, who does a good little un-cooperative little punk.
Even better Spielberg put in some humour to try and ease up the drama and tension that happens throughout the film. Most of the humour happens before the invasion, then the rest of it is spilled out during the initial invasion, but by half-way through there's not much of it, but it returns for a little while by the time Robbins' character is introduced! Despite all the disasters happening in the film, it can be classified as a horror film, or a family film as it follows one single family throughout the event. It's clever that Spielberg doesn't show much fighting, he just showed this disaster through the eyes of one small family, who's trying to get to Boston! And it's interesting watching them moving through the chaos throughout the course of the film. A clever tactic Spielberg, but it would still be nice to see an alien film loaded with fighting and death! It's interesting that Spielberg chose Morgan Freeman for the narrator. It's like you just listen to him and it sounds how Wells would have imagined it to be. Such a shame that Wells didn't get a chance to see the epic masterpiece! I'm sure he would be very proud! I think that the contenders for best picture of 2005 will be War of the Worlds, followed by King Kong. 2005 finally has a great picture for audiences to enjoy!
If you didn't like the film, watch it again and give it another chance! Just sit back, watch it, and try not to point out the flaws!
1010, a great film! Another thing: What in hell's name is up with the user rating! It's only 6.710 at the moment. This is an awesome film, how can it score as low as the terrible film 'Hostage', and not as high as the god awful Harry Potter films! I wait, and hope that eventually the user rating will go up, it deserves at least a 7.0-8.0, and if we're really luck, it would also deserve an 8.5-9.0! But that's a long way off!
Overall, despite the pasting it took from audiences around the world, this film is amazing! It has some great moments, visual effects, acting, and cinematography! This is a must-see!
Review by Stray_Butler_1991 from the Internet Movie Database.