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C. Thomas Howell
C. Thomas Howell,
A retro-futuristic epic of steampunk battle set in 1914. It has been 15 years since the original H.G. Wells Martian invasion. Fearing another attack, the human race has prepared itself. This is the story of the battle tripod 'Goliath' and its young crew. 'Goliath' is the vanguard of an army of steam-powered battle walkers, heat-ray biplanes, and armored zeppelins facing a Martian fleet of giant fighting machines and flying wings. Within the cockpit of 'Goliath', courage under fire, conflicted loyalties and the struggle to save earth, in this new War of the Worlds. Written by
Before we start, lets explain a bit about where I'm coming from. I grew up with parents who were fans of the Jeff Wayne War of The Worlds album and rapidly grew to like it myself. Hence, when the opportunity to read the novel came up at school I leaped at the chance and have since remained a fan of both of these works.
It has given me a cynical eye, however, hence pretty much every attempt to adapt the story has come up short in some way or another. So when I learned about this "sequel" I had to give it a shot, especially when I took a look at the cast list.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised. Its certainly not what I would have expected, was was good fun and respectful to the source material in many ways and whilst I wasn't a huge fan of the Martian tripods, I could at least see how much they had drawn inspiration from the novel, so well done there.
Whilst most of the main characters a vaguely engaging, the stand-outs tended to be the supporting cast, who I got a blast out of and really made the movie shine and setting the whole thing in the run-up to the Great War was a similar moment of inspiration.
Its not perfect though. The story feels perhaps a bit too episodic, rather than feeling like more natural chapters - to the extent I found myself wondering if perhaps it wasn't originally slated to be a TV series and I was watching the first few episodes back-to back. As has been mentioned elsewhere, the dialogue sometimes also feels a little stilted but that clears up for most of the movie.
I also need to add that their choice of opening theme had me hooked from the word go.
So, overall the film is a decent package, not as sophisticated in its storytelling as some of its animated contemporaries, nor as polished as others. But its a good package and a welcome return to animated action, which seems to have fallen by the wayside in recent years (indeed, it reminded me in some ways of Titan AE, which seemed to herald the beginning and end of the last resurgence of animated action movies).
I'd guardedly recommend it, I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it is certainly worth a look, especially if you have any interest in the original story, creative anachronisms or steampunk/dieselpunk tales.
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