Once again, Steven Spielberg has come close to making a great movie. Instead, he delivers another decent one. While much better than The Terminal, War of the Worlds still qualifies as a disappointment. Frank Rich points out some interesting things about the political agenda of the film. Some of the parallels to 9/11 and Bush's war on terror are interesting and well done. And as Jim pointed out, the feeling of utter terror that you can't do anything to protect yourself and whether you survive or not is pure luck captured the craziness of 9/11 quite well. The pacing of the first hour or so was amazing. I was honestly scared a few times -- when the ground starting collapsing from the imminent rising of the sleeper cells, the pulverizing chaos wrought by the terrifying killing machines, and the passing train on fire. The action scenes were stupendous. It is such a treat to watch a filmmaker who knows how to shoot a great action scene especially after sitting through the jarring Batman Begins.
With all of these great things going for this film, it is sad that once again, Spielberg shoots himself in the foot. The Tom Cruise trying to prove himself a good father was painful to watch, the Tim Robbins character was insufferable (although his line about how occupations always fail was a great one), and the ending was silly and abrupt.
Still, after reading that Spielberg is currently making a film about Mossad agents tracking down and killing the responsible parties for the '72 Munich disaster, War of the Worlds, simply seems like another Jurassic Park which was made so he could fund Schindler's List. Compared to Jurassic Park, this new film looks much better.
3 hours ago