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War of the Worlds (2005)

Rothe Blog War WorldsThree and a Half Stars

This was the last huge summer movie that I was waiting to see. I will say that I was greatly disappointed. Starring Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, and Tim Robbins, this movie started out really strong, just like most recent Tom Cruise movies. Tom Cruise is a jerk dad, with no direction, highly cliche. His son has some interesting characteristics, Dakota plays his daughter and is the cliche know it all little girl.

Soon enough, all of the money shots you saw in the previews take place. The weird storms, the ground breaking apart, it is cool, but as soon as the tripod aliens come out of the ground, it has this “World of Tomorrow” gritty feel, almost like it is set on old film, but in modern day.

The aliens immediately start zapping people, turning them into dust. Running like he always does, Tom Cruise barely escapes and we are yanked into intense scenes of destruction. That is where the movie sort of tails off.

Just because this movie was about Aliens, doesn’t mean I will just throw out comparisons to the lighter mood Independence Day of the mid 90’s, but unlike that movie, the direction gets kind of lost. Tom Cruise just kind of treads water, trying to get away, but they just keep running in circles without escaping. We have seen the tripods, and all of sudden they become less organic and really mechanized, which doesn’t seem to fit.

Then the movie falls apart. Tom Cruise destroys one tripod after being sucked up into it with some grenades. Then, all of a sudden in the final sequences we see the tripods falling over and dying, for no apparent reason. They de-steam, and out fall these aliens that look just like the ones from Independence, and this orange liquid that we assume is supposed to be people’s blood gooshes out. In the end, Morgan Freeman gives away that the aliens died because they had no immune system.

What the Hell! Major plot twists should be shown, not told by a narrator you know is Morgan Freeman in the end of the movie. I was pissed.

Rent this one for free. It has cool effects, but all the other stuff I mentioned, and Dakota Fanning over acting and screaming constantly will drive you nuts. If you like Tom Cruise, this is typical for him, but a little more degrading, he’s a real moron here. My parents wouldn’t like it, so wait till it gets to the library or rent it for half price or something.

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