Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, and Dakota Fanning head up this science fiction/ action/adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is based on H. G. Wells
The War of the Worlds.
It’s loud, suspenseful, scary, and those creatures from outer space really test the Ferrier family: Tom Cruise is Ray, a divorced father of two; Dakota Fanning is his daughter Rachel; and Justin Chatwin is his son Robbie. The film is rated PG-13 for frightening sequences of sci-fi violence and disturbing images. Tim Robbins appears as Harlan Ogilvy, a crazed survivor of the attack that Ray has to deal with later in the film.
Ray is taking care of his children while his pregnant ex-wife and her new husband go away for the weekend. Ray is a working class man, who lives beneath a bridge in New Jersey. The unthinkable happens, as repeated lightening strikes energize alien tripod fighting machines buried beneath the earth. Panic ensues, people are dying (really being vaporized so just their clothes are left, an interesting sci-fi special effect), and Ray heads out of town with his children.
Ray is not a super hero kind of guy. He hasn’t been the greatest father, and the mass hysteria really challenges him. Robbie however, rises to the occasion and attempts to save people. They are separated, and Ray is then solely in charge of Rachel. They meet Harlan at that point, and hide in a basement hoping the aliens won’t find them. Ray and Rachel’s goal is to make it to Boston to where the children’s mother is staying.
I liked that War of the Worlds wasn’t a movie about superheroes in the face of a dire emergency. These were regular people who have problems, and are sorely tested in a time of crisis. The movie is very suspenseful, had my attention from beginning to end, but any creatures from outer space just look stupid to me. Despite my problems with fake aliens and machines that walk around, the drama of the family fighting for survival was what kept the film interesting. Morgan Freeman’s distinctive voice handles the narration, just brief segments prior to and at the end of the film. And a clue for you (I hardly ever give clues): What ends up being humans’ salvation is what lies within us.