Starring: Beau Billingslea, Jim Byrnes, Tony Eusoff
Directed By: Joe Pearson
Written By: David Abramowitz
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 25 min
So there I was, browsing through the new Netflix streaming content and I came across, War of the Worlds: Goliath. With a user rating of 4 stars no less, so I figure, why not. I’ve always liked the H. G. Wells novel, and both the 1953 and 2005 movie adaptations, so surely a Dieselpunk/Steampunk inspired animated version of the classic text should at least be entertaining.
Well, not so much.
War of the Worlds: Goliath, is a sequel to the classic story, and catches up with humanity fifteen years after the Martians attacked Earth. Having reverse engineered the alien war machines, early 20th century Earth sees the human race utilizing some very advanced technology. They’ve also set up a global initiative to recruit the best soldiers from around the world to pilot super advanced battle tripods, and prepare for the inevitable return of the Martians.
Despite the rich source material, and the really intriguing concept behind the sequel, War of the Worlds: Goliath ends up being surprisingly dull. The international cast of poorly developed characters, end up being silly racial stereotypes, and the production is littered with moments of cheesy contrived melodrama.
The story isn’t all that complicated, yet there’s so much in here that didn’t make any sense to me. Its only been fifteen years since the last Martian attack ended, and there’s credible evidence that a second attack is imminent. So why is everyone talking about the start of World War One? Hardly makes sense right? The Martians nearly took the planet only fifteen years ago and are coming back for round two, but let’s start a global conflict using all the cool new weapons we’ve got! I don’t know about you, but if I was the leader of the Martians, I’d just sit back and let the human race do my work for me, and then swoop in near the end to take control.
The way in which the battles were fought didn’t make any sense either. Soldiers repeatedly attack Martians with regular guns, shooting regular bullets, which barely scratch the paint off the invading machines. But they keep doing it anyway, and that gets old really quickly. At one point bullets hitting the protective shell on a smaller alien walker don’t hurt the machine at all, but in the next shot it’s easily smashed by a soldier and his knife. What?
There are plenty more moments like this, and each one sadly highlighted just how poorly developed this great story premise was. On the plus side though, I did enjoy the design of the alien walkers, and the battle tripods. While a lot of the action didn’t make any logical sense, it was at least decently animated and the sound design and editing was nicely done.
There’s plenty of action to go with the cheesy dialog, and at least the effects of the Martian heat ray are decently realized. I wouldn’t recommend this movie for really young children.
It’s a decent looking film so a regular DVD or streaming show on a nice big TV is good enough.
The design and animation of the Martian tripods.