In a nutshell, the story of “War of the Worlds” set at sea. The small details of why a tiny, inflatable boat could withstand tsunami force waves from a catastrophic event are minor inconsistencies in the story line. Liam Neeson is onscreen less than ten minutes. The star, actor Taylor Kitsch, is the hotshot, upstart, younger, ne’er do well brother of a Naval Captain. He somehow manages to rise through the ranks and wins the heart of the Admiral’s daughter within the first half hour. The rest is War of the Worlds revised. There is comic relief, a brave soldier, a team of scrappy misfits who are the only ones left in a position to battle the monsters [aliens] and save the planet. Oh, there is an Achilles Heel that is found to work to kill and disable the enemy. In the 1957 sci-fi movie, “The Monolith Monsters” the town is saved when they blow the dam and the secret ingredient that will destroy the murderous rocks is… water. Superman is vulnerable to Kryptonite. Movie writing rule of thumb: There is always something out there, sometimes found in your kitchen cabinet or glancing out the window, that will work to destroy the enemy invaders from another world. All it takes is some gumption, some good ol’ American know-how, and millions upon millions of dollars spent on hi-tech special effects to keep the audience in their seats for two hours. The strange brew to make a Blockbuster these days always hinges on the mammoth special effects. The ships are getting bigger, the monsters more deadly, and the heroes are much more ”buff” with a prerequisite of washboard abs.
Author of "6 Degrees of Film: The Future of Film in the Global Village", Ms. Johnson continues to blog on film and publishes a newsletter plus the Flipboard magazine 6 Degrees of Film @ the Movies. Her book is currently available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Degrees-Film-Future-Global-Village/ View all posts by MLJ