The Steven Spielberg remake of War of the Worlds was a bit of a disappointment to me. I'd been looking forward to seeing it and the preview trailers looked exciting. But the finished project couldn't live up to the hype.
The most redeeming feature of the film was the performances by veteran Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, and Tim Robbins. The interaction of these characters was in the best of Hollywood tradition. The script itself had such potential. Unfortunately the character study will probably overshadowed by what was promised to be epic proportioned action sequences. Perhaps by trying to remain true to the original in some sense of the word, Spielberg missed the mark. The "machines" were clunky and unbelievable from such a highly advanced race of beings planning an extermination for a million years. The ground attack strategy by tripod-like vehicles looked like something out of the 40's or 50's. The laser effect disintegrating humans and structures in mass proportions again was something out of the 60's, although I did like the raining-clothes effect. With today's computer aided graphics, why was so much money spent on a film that could have been made 25 years ago and probably more believable?
Which leads to where the rubber meets the road. The whole film was just not believable. Not one chill, thrill or goosebump was had. The unconvincing design and effects disappointed this viewer. The movie may have had a wonderful first weekend in the theaters, grossing over 200 million dollars worldwide, but I believe once the word gets out that it falls so flat, attendance will drop off immensely. The creatures who make camio appearances were up to Spielbergs' reputation and perhaps he should have given more screentime to them instead of the antiquated machines sweeping through New England. I've found Marvin the Martian's hand-annihilator more exciting.
I expected more from such a usually wonderful director. I give it 2 penguins out of 5.