War of the Worlds (2005): Spielberg’s Version of Wells Sci-Fi, Starring Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, Tim Robbins

If Jurassic Park was Jaws with claws, War of the Worlds is E.T. gone bad.

Lacking the vision of Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the lyrical innocence of “E.T.,” and the poetic depth of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “War of the Worlds” is mostly a dazzling display of movie technology.

There are few directors with the experience and vision of Spielberg to execute a project of that size and scope with such skill, deftness, and enthusiasm. That said, “War” is imbued with a darker tone than Spielberg’s previous sci-fi films, particularly “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “E.T.”, reflecting changes in Spielberg’s life, sensibility, and worldview, as well as the world we live in.

War of the World inspires awe and wonder at its technology and special effects, but it also inspires shock at how simplistic and minimalist its tale is. “It’s the biggest little film we have made,” says David Koepp, who also scripted “Jurassic Park” and “Lost World.” Indeed, a truly intimate yarn with few and simple characters is contained within a massive machine

In their second collaboration, after “Minority Report,” both Spielberg and Tom Cruise are in good shape, though Spielberg impresses here more as a consummate craftsman, in total command of state-of-the-art special effects, than as an artist.

Thematically, “War” blends together the conventions of three genres–the sci-fi, horror, and disaster movie—a trend that began in Hollywood movies of the past decade. Artistically, “War” is a better picture than “Jurassic Park.” The aliens’ paths of destruction receive full and glorious display onscreen, with meticulously depicted invasions by vicious, heat-ray-blasting aliens. However, intellectually, “War” is only a notch or two more sophisticated and challenging than “Jurassic Park.”

To what extent sheer commercial considerations have shaped this picture?

Neither Spielberg nor Cruise has had a mega hit over the past several years. “The Terminal” was an embarrassingly mediocre film that didn’t perform at the box-office, grossing only $77 million.

And by Spielberg’s standards, “Minority Report,” his previous sci-fi, also starring Cruise, was a moderate success (about $133 million).

As for Cruise, his popularity is slipping domestically, as his latest films, “Vanilla Sky” and “Last Samurai” have shown; both pictures were more popular overseas.

“War” reveals the battle for the future of humanity through the eyes of one American family fighting for its survival. Cruise stars as Ray Ferrier, a divorce dockworker and less than perfect father of two: Teenager Robbie (Justin Chatwin) and younger daughter Rachel (Dakota Flanning). After Ray’s ex-wife Mary Ann (Miranda Otto) and her new husband drop off the children for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm touches down.

The first reel is terrific, with taut narrative, strong characterization, and spectacular visuals. But the second and third reels are weaker and repetitious.

War of the Worlds
An alien hand holds Earth, which is engulfed in flame. A red weed surrounds the hand. Above the image is the film's title, WAR OF THE WORLDS, and the main actor, TOM CRUISE. Below is the release date, June 29, and the cast and crew credits.

Theatrical release poster

The filmmakers must have been aware of this problem, as Koepp told Premiere: “I wish I could make a living just writing the first thirty pages of scripts, because that’s where all the fun is. Movies are best when they are all about anticipation. But eventually you have to show the audience what youve got, and nine times out of ten they go, Oh, that’s what youve got’ Well, all right.”

With the exception of the fourth reel, most of the plot is disclosed in the first chapters; the rest is more of the above.

Moments after the reluctant meeting between father and children, Ray witnesses at an intersection near his home an extraordinary event. A towering three-legged war machine emerges from deep beneath the earth and, before anyone can react, incinerates everything in sight. An ordinary day suddenly becomes the most extraordinary event of their life, due to a catastrophic alien attack on Earth.

Ray scrambles to get his children away from this merciless new enemy, embarking on a journey that takes them across the ravaged countryside, where they become caught in the desperate tide of refugees fleeing from an extraterrestrial army of Tripods. But no matter where they run, there is no safety and no refuge. Only Ray’s unconquerable will to protect his family.

First published in 1898, H.G. Wells’ story has become a classic. The frightening specter of our planet being ripped from us, with ordinary human lives held in the balance like ants on a twig, has retained its power for over a century. Known for films about more hospitable intergalactic guests, he taps ideal source material—the 1898 novel, Orson Welles’ 1938 radio play, the 1953 cult movie—and pays tribute to them in one way or another. Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, the stars of the 1953 film, make cameo appearances in the same way that Scorsese had cast Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck in his remake of “Cape Fear.”

But Spielberg revisits the idea of alien invasion with a different intent. He seems eager to show the story’s resonance for today’s viewers.

“I thought it would be a good time to send “War” crashing down around everybody’s ear,” Spielberg has said. The movie fulfills his promise, that “War will not be “one of my sweet cuddly benign alien stories.” Indeed, anyone looking for long-fingered friendly space travelers will be disappointed. While the aliens in “War” are long-fingered, like E.T. was, they certainly are not friendly.

With “War”, Spielberg takes the opportunity to explore the antithesis of the characters in “Close Encounters” and “E.T.” “E.T.” was initially meant to beedgier and darker, but it somehow evolved into a more benign story. “War” is the flip side to the alien forms that were benign—the story is about our justified fears of aliens.

Spielberg has done extra-terrestrials before, E.T showed up early, but the little visitors in “Close Encounters” only appear in the final scene. Defying the notion that a movie is scarier if you don’t show the shark or the alien, in this version, the seen and unseen share the screen, including the three-legged creatures that had appeared in the 1953 cult movie.

Some viewers may be disappointed by the fact that the film offers no explanation as to who the aliens are, and why they attack. In this context, the only questions—and sources of tension—are: Will the family survive To what extent a father would go to protect his own flesh and blood

On the plus side, most of genre’s formulaic devices are absent: Capitalists being destroyed, generals or scientists waxing on importantly, TV reporters panicking, while debris explodes behind them. Sensitive to life in the post 9/11 era, there is no “beating up” of Manhattan. “War” takes place in the ordinary world, far away from the Pentagon or the Oval Office.

Indeed, quite admirably, Spielberg avoids cliches. There’s no destruction of famous landmarks, no shots of Manhattan getting the crap kicked out of it, no shots of generals standing around a large map pushing ships with sticks into place, no TV crews photographing the destruction.

Instead, “War” is a simple story about the basic elements of human nature, set against an extraordinary, unnatural event. Though the whole world is under attack, Spielberg focuses on one family of three characters, showing their dilemmas, their confinement, and their lack of information. Significantly, all the events are presented from the consistent and subjective POV of Ray, a modern Everyman. Ray is a far cry from the noble and diabolical characters Cruise had played. Here, he’s an average guy who’s not heroic but running away.

At the center of a story about death and destruction is a literal and metaphorical journey, taken by Ray, an inept man previously unable to commit to fatherhood. A painful distance exists between father and children when the story begins: Rachel and Robbie arrive at his house with less than enthusiasm for a rare weekend visit.

But the challenges faced by Ray with a surly teenager and a reticent daughter quickly pale, compared with the external threat ahead. When the Tripod attack begins, there’s little to do but try to stay alive. There’s no attempt to be intellectual about stopping the enemy, or be persuasive, or put an armament against it.

With the world literally crashing down around them, the familial tensions are heightened. Robbie is at the impossible age when young people yearn for both acceptance and independence. A rebel, Robbie wears his defiance boldly, sporting his red and white Red Sox cap in contrast to his father’s Yankee blue. The bond between brother and sister compensates for what’s missing in their relationship with their father, their broken home, and their mother’s new life.

Though Mary Ann’s presence is limited to a few scenes, her character is important for she serves as a compass point for the entire story. Ray’s first impulse is to get the kids to their mother, because he knows she can take care of them.

In the last reel, a major event occurs, one that indicates that the threat is not only from without but also from within. Having been separated from Robbie (for reasons that can’t be specified here), Ray and Rachel seek refuge in a farmhouse. They are “invited” by a stranger named Ogilvy (Tom Robbins) into the cellar of an old house. The story takes a dramatic shift in tone, and the drama intensifies as it becomes clear that there’s another force to fight. A broken man, who has lost his whole family, Ogilvy has been hiding out in the basement, cultivating deranged plans of how to handle the attackers.

Ogilvy thus becomes as much a danger to Ray and Rachel’s survival as the alien attackers. In the movie, just as in the novel, the encounter with the psychotic stranger creates a healthy level of discomfort and anxiety. When the story moves indoors into the small and dark cellar, it becomes claustrophobic. Up until then, the tale took place above ground, with urban intersections along highways and rivers, and expanses of refugees spilling out onto the wide landscapes.


Directed by Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by Josh Friedman, David Koepp, based on The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Colin Wilson

Cinematography Janusz Kamiński
Edited by Michael Kahn
Music by John Williams

Production companies: DreamWorks Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Cruise/Wagner Productions

Distributed by Paramount Pictures

Release dates: June 23, 2005 (Ziegfeld NYC); June 29, 2005 (US)

Running time: 116 minutes
Budget $132 million
Box office $603.9 million

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88