Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise! A revival of the (excellent) Minority Report! That sounds like a reason to go to a theater, doesn’t it?
Well, I didn’t go when I could have, and I am happy I didn’t. The movie is a singular catastrophe, and I wished the director and protagonist had chosen a better screen writer.
It’s about 100 years after Wells wrote the original, and you’d think it’s time to modernize. But the story unfolds unchanged, with only minor variants, and we are faced with an invasion that is ridiculous to say the least.
Tom Cruise will fight the same tripods that bothered Wells – only the latter one’s came from Mars, an unlikely location for aliens in 2005. While the origin of the aliens is left in the dark, a great many of the details are kept, making the movie at the same time modern and unbelievably ancient.
Tripods are not a good design for alien space ships or any kind of alien invaders. Neither are any of the other implements in the movie. The aliens depicted are stupid, evil in a way not even we as humans would be in 2005, and the whole movie begs the question as to how we managed not to learn anything in 100 years that we should have used in this movie.
Spielberg makes a big deal of the terrorist connection, but the movie deals with it only tangentially. There are a few references to whether the events unfolding are caused by terrorists, but there is nothing behind them. Instead terrorists are replaced by aliens.
In the end, the whole movie looks old. Tom Cruise surely didn’t help, and Spielberg couldn’t do anything about a modern story that in his retelling sounds old.
Dakota Fanning, if you ask me, is the only saving grace. A little like Chris Evans saved Fantastic Four without trying.