This blog contains material I wrote and posted on multiply.com between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).
Saturday, 24 November 2012
The War Of The Worlds: Review
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Now just how stupid do we have to pretend to be? I shall not repeat the storyline here, because you all know it; but I'll make a few points: 1. The aliens have been under the earth for perhaps millenia, but they have never been detected, even when the city was being built over their head, subways, sewers, and all - not to talk of cities all over the globe. 2. These aliens suddenly - without any prior reconnaissance of the planet to determine conditions - decide on an invasion, when they could have done this at any time over the last several hundred years. 3. In all these years, they have somehow avoided contact with earth microbes, yet these selfsame microbes manage to infect them (just you try and get infected by a tobacco mosaic virus and see what I mean. Germs evolve with the hosts.). (Here I have a quarrel with Wells' original story too, but he was writing in the scientifically more innocent 1890s.His Martians lived on a planet without microorganisms; yet they did not become extinct from organic material being locked up in nondecaying corpses.) Or else did they ride down with the lightning? How? 4. These tripods can resist missile strikes but not an axe to the tentacle (what a stupidly exact copy of the Jurassic Park velociraptor scene before this) or a hand grenade (does Spielberg in this day and age still pretend Cruise can pull out grenade pins with his teeth? Tom needs an urgent dental appointment!). 5. The tripods can't catch Cruise however fast he runs and would rather probe with tentacles than simply blast his basement down on him. Not to talk of their suction mechanism being defeated by people pulling on each other. And that sphincter... 6. The aliens? Don't make me laugh. Wells' original round, gravity-crippled Martians were infinitely better, despite their lack of a digestive system and sanguinivorous habits. And while we are on the subject, just what the hell are the aliens doing, invading us? What do they want? Where do they come from, and why does no one ask this obvious question? Wells at least attempted an explanation. 7. All cars...but, predictably, the one Cruise hijacks...are disabled by the aliens, as are phones, mobiles, lights...yet the videorecorders work! And later military vehicles have no problem either! Wonderful! 8. How did Cruise's son make it to Boston before him? As for the much-touted special effects, the lightning storm is simply ludicrous and the street crater is pure "Godzilla". And as for the tripods, spare me. How much running and screaming is too much? Blecchh. Overall: sucks, sucks, sucks.