I have to say, this movie is an embarrassment for mankind, and not because aliens kick our ass. I can not believe that this gets a 7/10 rating on rotten tomatoes, or even a 6/10 on IMDB. It was complete and utter dross.
If you haven't listened to Jeff Wayne's musical (wikipedia) version of War of the Worlds, something I grew up knowing, then you may (if you lack enough sense) have been duped by some of the idiocy of this movie. If you haven't heard the musical, I urge you to get a copy because it's brilliance completely destroys the pathetic screenplay behind this Hollywood debacle.
So, let's get onto the naffness:
- Mechanic argues about losing business whilst everybody else around him is panicking due to the huge alien wiping out everything it can see.
- EMP wipes out all electronic equipment, cars, lights, mobile phones, everything... except, conveniently, the digital camcorder a guy is using to capture the massacre - or should I say, the digital camcorder shot the director wanted to use for cinematic effect.
- All cars have stopped, but not before the drivers could make a path just right for Tom Cruise to drive out of town.
- Planes that fall out the sky tend to create craters and get scattered around - not selectively take out parts of a house and land in large chunks. Another "cinematic effect" scene. Fortunately the car is untouched by the disaster to so Tom can get away.
- Absolutely absurd cliff hangers in every scene, does everything need to be a close escape? How come Tom Cruise can run beneath an alien and get away (the battle scene) whilst mass crowds are wiped out in a matter of seconds?
- The guy only invites Tom Cruise into his basement, ignoring other close people who are also running away.
- The aliens are invincible, removing all tension from the defense scenes. In the musical (set in the early 20th century) they manage to take a few out, giving some hope.
- The military seem to be putting up a good fight... except the aliens are invincible and wipe out everything instantly, so how come the military are still surviving so well?
- Weak explanation for alien arrival - "arriving in pods in the lightening" yet the hole in the ground was, well, not a hole.
- Unecessarily rebases a classic tale in contemporary times when the period setting was basically better.
- Aliens are buried in the ground across the globe. What, we just forgot to dig in the places they buried them?
- The girl approaches a picturesque river. Then a solitary body floats down. Then, out of nowhere, hundreds bunched together float down. Cinematography at it's glorious worst, especially when aliens vaporize people rather than dumping them in rivers.
- Insulting reference to the musical - some maniac blabbering about pipes in New York versus a deluded visionary.
- The son is alive at the end. Besides the fact he ran into a certain death battle zone (lest we forget the main characters were invincible), is Hollywood allergic to main character tragedy?
- The aliens are advanced enough to have beams that can wipe out living creatures in a flash, giant robotic machines that can brush aside man-made structures and scale all terrain, yet they can't scan a house without a giant tentacle with an eye, that can be fooled by a mirror and the operator can't recognise it when he is staring at a mirror.
- The tentacle scene in general. Unbelievably naff. I am amazed that somebody can come up with something so incredibly naff.
- Aliens turning people into smoothies. I mean, come on, do you need to add this in an attempt to make the movie scary? Isn't wiping out mankind enough?
- Oh, no, wait, we're fertilizer. I know, if we can't make a movie scary on merit, let's try and gross the audience out. Terrifying!
- The aliens look like their machines. How original.
- Morgan Freeman voice overs. Absolutely no impact.
God damn, it's depressing how utterly NAFF movies have become. All spectacle, no consistency and no substance.