As you may remember, I was in two minds about the recently released War of the Worlds back when details were starting to come out back in January.
During my recent week in London, I was able to see the movie, although I didn’t have a chance to sit down and write a review back then.
As expected, the plot diverges quite a bit from the original book. Many of the plot elements and events turn up in one form or another, but it is decidedly mixed up. For example one character is called Ogilvy, who in the book is an astronomer friend of the narrator, however in the movie he is a hybrid of the characters of the curate and the soilder. Also the aliens are not apparently from Mars, and also the war machines are already hidden on the Earth, rather than being built, so the whole tension building elements at the beginning of the book are gone. However despite what Howard predicted back in January, the ultimate source of the demise of the aliens is the same as in the book, complete with birds flocking over the remains.
Putting aside the spot the difference, the question is whether it is a bad movie. I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Although there were some plot holes, particularly the apparent lack of damage to parts of Boston at the end of the movie, the movie was very well made with great looking war machines, and well acted. Certainly if you’ve had little to do with the original book, you won’t have a problem with the movie. Even if you are a fan of the book, go in expecting a good action packed pop-corn crowd pleaser and you won’t be disappointed.