The first half hour it leaves hour breathless. The characters don't know what hit them, but we do. We know all about it, a world of the worlds is about to take place, with nasty creatures from outer space. This elementary rule, we, the audience are a few steps ahead of the characters on the screen. It makes our anticipation of their realization an spectacular thrill. Then, of course, it's all downhill from there. Well, not all. Tom Cruise is in it. I have to hand it to him. Looking at his name in the poster, lots of useless but unavoidable information came to mind. Katie Holmes and Brooke Shields and L Ron Hubbard, Oprah, Matt. The lot. And I'm one who doesn't watch much television, imagine someone who does! In any case, much to Tom Cruise credit, I completely forgot all that nonsense as the movie started and I was able to concentrate on the nonsense at hand. He is really good. I took him seriously. I felt for him. He's playing a loser with an empty refrigerator and I believe it. Totally. The problems in the movie are of a different kind. The same way that you can't mix Kubrick and Spielberg and A.I was a blatant example of that. In War of the Worlds we discover H G Wells and Spielberg don't go together either. Wells, H. G as well as Orson Welles played with our inner fears without computer generated images. I imagine that playing with the intellect would have been too frightening to Spielberg, Paramount, Amblin and Dreamworks. So I guess that part of the master plan was to give us something of what, they imagine, audiences the world over expects of them. But, it doesn't work like that. It should be the intellectual wallop of H G Wells or the sentimental pyrotechnics of Steven Spielberg. Together, they do not go. Okay, I've unburden myself of my thoughts, now, I recommend you to see it and make up your own mind. Within the sad desolation of the film going summer of 2005, there is enough solace within the horrors of War of the Worlds to make you feel you haven't wasted your afternoon.
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