Saturday, July 02, 2005

War of the Worlds (***)

Steven Spielberg's latest summer blockbuster is a good, sometimes great, sci-fi thrill ride. Boasting the best special effects and sound design of any other movie this year, this is grand, virtuosic filmmaking designed to scare, excite, and tweak the imagination. The movie is pretty relentless after the first ten minutes and doesn't really let up until the end. There are some amazing set pieces in this film, and images that stay with you. The first encounter with the aliens as they rise up from under the ground in massive laser-wielding tentacle ships is awe-inspiring and original. Tom Cruise does fine work as the everyman struggling to save his family. I like how dark this movie gets. For all its popcorn flick worth, it's a pretty dark and somber ride for the most part. It reminded me a lot of Spielberg's own Jurassic Park and The Lost World. The movie has problems in its final third, most glaringly a way too happy ending and some choppy editing. Not a classic, but an enjoyable summer flick. Well worth your $10 bucks. Go see it on a big screen.


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