July 02, 2005

War of the Worlds

Tom Cruise* may in fact be chemically imbalanced, but he has really good instincts when it comes to picking movie parts. He might even always play the same person, but hey, the special effects and big machines! I recommend the movie if you want a good action-suspense flick with lots of laser gun action. And a brain holiday, which if you've been paying even a little bit of attention lately, you probably need.

I read War of the Worlds as a kid, though I haven't thought about it for a long time. And then I'm watching the movie and there's that line you may have heard in the previews, 'they've been planning this for a million years.' So tell me how dumb this would make the aliens in the context of the movie.

You've had a million years (or even tens of thousands) to plan the invasion of a planet, and not only do you wait as an established civilization grows up, but you neglect to do even minimal epidemiological surveys? In all that time, you don't send one bloody probe to take air and soil samples, culture the results and maybe experiment with some of the lifeforms on your planet to see if there's anything to be worried about?

It's almost as blitheringly stupid as planning to re-invade a middle eastern country for over a decade, ignoring every well-founded opinion on how things will probably go once you get the opportunity, and creating conditions that ensure you can't call for backup if the things people said would go wrong, go wrong. But not quite. There's a lot of recent and well-documented history describing the outcome of land wars in Asia, whereas the movie aliens were clearly invading an inhabited planet for the very first time, so there's an excusable learning curve to go through.

*Apologies for the second Cruise reference in as many days.

Posted by natasha at July 2, 2005 01:31 AM | Entertainment | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |
Comments

Hmmm....

This _would_ explain the tentacles I keep seeing at White House events....

Posted by: Palamedes at July 2, 2005 09:34 AM

I read it forty odd years ago at my stepson's, whom I'm taking to see it momentarily, age. I confess, as it is Cruize, I was a tad wary...

Posted by: Thomas Ware at July 2, 2005 11:17 AM

>>It's almost as blitheringly stupid as planning to re-invade a middle eastern country for over a decade, ignoring every well-founded opinion on how things will probably go once you get the opportunity, and creating conditions that ensure you can't call for backup if the things people said would go wrong, go wrong.>>

Wait, what are you referring to here? I'm confused. Is this another Tom Cruise movie?

(Sigh)

There's another connection, though, just as tragic: the movie fails on a credibility level--and, for me, on a dramatic level--because it refuses to acknowledge the likelihood of apocalypse. Of course they'd be more sensible, and of course we'd all be obliterated. As with Hollywood, so with Iraq: our government couldn't face the likelihood of failure, or plan for a conflict without a cinematic resolution. Of course they were enraged; of course they were uncooperative; of course war and occupation are, what's the word, complicated; and of course we're involved in a humanitarian mess of a conflict with no solution in sight.

Posted by: piny at July 5, 2005 04:35 PM

They lose their million-year war in two days?

Not enough blows up.

This movie blows - it's every bad part of the previous adaptions.

Posted by: Crissa at July 6, 2005 01:53 PM