Title: War of the Worlds
Starring: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins
Synopsis: Steven Spielberg teams up with Tom Cruise once again to deliver a gripping modern-day adaptation of H. G. Wells’ sci-fi disaster novel, The War of the Worlds. Cruise plays divorced dad Ray Ferrier who works on a dock and is estranged from his two children, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie (Justin Chatwin). After his ex-wife drops them off to stay with him for a few days, the planet is suddenly attacked by aliens that come up from under the ground driving huge machines that appear to be trying to obliterate the human race. As the world’s armed forces battle in vain to defeat them, Ray does everything he can to try and protect his children and reunite them with their mother.
What makes this film stand out in its genre is just how realistic and therfore disturbing it is: where movies such as 2012 and Independence Day (another alien invasion film) show humanity at its best with the whole world coming together in times of peril, War of the Worlds instead exhibits the more depressing but sadly more common mentality of “every man for himself” that we as humans tend to be prone to when panic breaks out. Terrorism and fear of the unknown are themes that run deep (especially since this was made in post-9/11 America), and while the actual aliens themselves may not be very inspired, this is still a highly distressing as well as a visually spectacular watch.
Watch if you liked: Minority Report, Godzilla, Children of Men
Rating: 7/10: The writing may have its problems, but if gritty disaster movies are your thing this is a must-see.
Words by Samantha King