Movie Review: War of the Worlds

by Auren Hoffman

Reviewed October 9, 1996

Rather than a prediction of future technology, War of the Worlds was an exciting look at the imagination of a 1950's director and a 1890's writer. Though there are still no all-powerful death evaporation rays or impenetrable force fields which are oblivious to cruise missiles and atomic bombs, it is interesting that someone of that era could imagine such things.

The questions asked to us in a few simple terms is "how does this science fiction movie attempt to predict or define the future technology?" I do not believe that War of the Worlds does even attempt to define future technology. Instead, it generates a feeling of how far we might be behind a parallel civilization. In the movie, the Martians possess advanced technology that renders even our most potent weapons obsolete.

The movie itself was a blast. We were commenting that throughout the terror, the explosions, and the escapes from death that both the main characters never got more than a spec of dirt on their cloths and there hair remained perfect.

Since this was a 1950 movie, gender roles were very pronounced. In one scene, the lead actress relegated herself to making and serving coffee while the men plotted how to kill the aliens.

All in all, War of the Worlds is a powerful movie which has had a profound effect on many other science fiction movies including the recent "Independence Day."