War Of The Worlds (2005)

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An ordinary working man attempts to protect his two children as they flee an invading Martian force who have set about eradicating the human race.

Upon first viewing I was none too impressed by Steven Spielberg’s “Independence Day for grown ups”. It seemed at the time like a po-faced version of the Emmerich/Devlin film that lacked the tongue in cheek humour that made it so entertaining, but unwisely retained the schmaltz. In retrospect, it actually does have its good points; the visual effects have stood the test of time quite well and the first half of the film gives a nice sense of humanity enduring an apocalyptic scenario, much like a family friendly version of The Walking Dead. The film’s flaws are obvious however; Tim Robbins’ vengeance obsessed gun nut is an overplayed caricature and the sequence in his basement is painfully overlong which causes the narrative momentum to sputter and stall, and Farrier’s son’s characterisation is ham-fisted and unconvincing and he brings nothing but the aforementioned sentimentality to the story.

Not as bad as I first thought, but still far from Spielberg’s best work.

6/10

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