War of the Worlds (2005)

I saw the new War of the Worlds last night. I had been looking forward to this movie for months, ever since the teaser trailer came out in the spring showing a crazy lightning storm blowing up houses.

The movie started off really well. In fact, right up until the end, the movie was very exciting and intriguing. This movie creates a level of tension in the audience that is unreal. You find yourself literally holding your breath at time. Unfortunately, the anti-climatic end of the movie was quite disappointing. The movie ends very abruptly without real closure on the fate of the planet.

In reading other reviews of this movie, it seems most viewers have a similar complaint. It’s surprising to me that a director with the experience and success in making movies would be satisfied with such an ending. My only guess is that they filmed a longer ending for a Director’s Cut edition on DVD.

As far as acting performances go, Tom Cruise did well but his role is not one that requires much talent. The best performance was, as usual, by Dakota Fanning as Cruise’s frightened daughter. She’s so crazy in this movie at times that you just want to leave the theater at times to avoid the chaos she creates.

The story is a novel reimagining of a sci-fi classic and the rich visualization provided by the special effects crew is laudable. I think it will get a close 2nd place in the Academy Awards to Star Wars Episode III. The tripods in the film are especially well done. I have to also comment on the sound effects. They are excellent and very well timed to provide maximum anxiety in the audience.

Score: 82100