Review Date: June 27, 2005
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: David Koepp
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Colin Wilson
Tom Cruise as Ray
Dakota Fanning as Rachel
Justin Chatwin as Robbie
That said, it’s to note that ultimately this is a very dark, creepy, thrilling and all-around science-fiction adventure that, unlike its teaser marketing campaign, does not hold back in terms of its visuals with plenty of “flying saucers”, aliens and zapping of human animals sprinkled throughout its plotline. The film contains at least 3-4 masterful sequences in which all hell is breaking loose, and you attempt not to blink as you don’t want to miss one of the extra-terrestrials blasting some asshole away. My favorite had to be the one in which some of the mechanism behind the tripods is revealed, or any of the wide shots of the bedlam occurring about town. Wow…you just look up in awe. Sure, there were a few points in the story during which I just had to roll my eyes up a little and allow the suspension of disbelief to wash itself all over me (They’re driving the car through a highway filled with stalled vehicles and they get through, no problem? Also…the “mirror scene”…c’mon!), but there really weren’t too many of those points, and in the end, I allowed the fact that it was a friggin’ movie about an alien invasion, to keep my concentration centered on the bigger picture, which between and you…looked awesome! One thing I cannot forgive, however, is one plot point that seems to indicate something pretty bad happening to someone pretty important, but this something, as per most Spielberg vehicles, ultimately turns out to be untrue. Again, I have to say…it’s a movie about an alien invasion…I don’t think the audience would mind if ONE FRIGGIN’ important person disappears here! I mean…c’mon man! Granted, most moviegoers will surely appreciate the heartfelt moment, but not me…I would have preferred to have experienced a greater death, but alas, I’m just some jerk writing movie reviews for a living, so just move on to the next paragraph.
Those small twinges of negativity aside, the film kicked my ass from its sharp opening, to its character development, to its quick pace, stupendous special effects, dark imagery and realistic environment. It had everything you’d look for in a summer blockbuster and more. My dad was recently quoted as saying that this film was gonna “suck” because of the glut of publicity behind it over the past month or so, but my dad appears to have been wrong in this case, as the film comes through gangbusters, tossing aliens, deaths, tripods, red stuff, Cruise in form, Fanning playing adorable and Spielberg at his best all over the big screen, and daring us not to like. Well…me likey. Me likey a lot.