Thursday, 7 August 2008

No.6 : War of the Worlds 2 : The Next Wave

IMDb Link :

It's interesting to note that June of 2005 saw the release of three separate War of the Worlds films. One was the well known Spielberg/Cruise effort and the second was a period piece that you can only buy over the web. The other version was a cash in designed to piggy-back the Spielberg effort and it must have enjoyed some success as it spawned this straight to DVD sequel.

I’ve not seen the original, and the plethora of War of the Worlds titles make it hard to pin point, but given the quality of the sequel I doubt I’ll bother. We do get a few minutes of recap at the beginning of ‘The Next Wave‘, no doubt to boost the weedy sub 90 minutes running time.

This film opens two years after the initial alien invasion has been repelled. Seemingly the victory was somewhat pyrrhic as there is no army or government and the resistance is based in a scrap yard. Unbelievably they do a have a fleet of Stealth bombers which have been adapted to fly in space using captured alien technology. No, really. It’s just as well really as the aliens are coming back and this time they have filters to stop another bacterial defeat.

Our hero and son are struggling to get by, with his birthday present being a tin of Ravioli - happy days. Things speed up as Earth resistance, helped by a scientist who thinks she’s Blanche DuBois, make a strike on the aliens’ mother ship while our man tries to find his son who has been captured by the bad guys.

This film is total rubbish. No ifs or buts, it’s crap. The main concern is budgetary with the aliens’ hive looking like the inside of a hooker’s boudoir. “Don’t touch the walls!” is the oft repeated advice - wise words, they may fall over. The big reveal that the action is actually happening on Mars is a cracker and explained by the aliens recreating a disused industrial estate as a ‘petri dish’ for captured humans. Lucky that, must have saved a fortune on special effects.

The aliens draw humans’ blood by putting a bag over their heads and the stunning alien vistas are all shown from the character’s point of view, meaning a big drawing can be used. Cheapness can be excused if there is a good script and top notch acting but alas both are missing in action. The story is a hybrid of ‘Independence Day’ and ‘I, Robot’ and the cast has the acting talent of an Ikea living room set.

Truly awful and to make matters worse they leave the door open for another sequel!

Best Bit : The downed fighter taking off with a cargo of people was pretty good even if the action was all off camera (again).

‘W’ Rating : 8/23

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