I hadn’t watched Steven Spielberg’s take on H.G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds since it came out in theaters eight years ago. I vaguely remember liking it, but it came on a few nights ago and I was able to enjoy it in an entirely new way.
With the wonder of the special effects gone, and whatever element of fear I may or may not have had on my initial viewing removed, I was able to focus on the story and acting this time around. Not sure why I never noticed it before, seems obvious now, but Tom Cruise does the same thing in every movie. Facial expressions, speech patterns, the obligatory scene where he has to run really fast are stock Cruise. The young Dakota Fanning was really good in her role as Cruise’s high strung daughter; she was incredibly cute, dynamic and great to watch.
But who cares about that? The real star of the movie was the late model Plymouth Voayger minivan with wood siding. The game got real when the cars all stopped and the aliens started vaporizing everyone/thing in sight, but what vehicle stood tall in the alien apocalypse? The minivan. Two bench seats for comfortable seating, dual sliding doors for quick ingress/egress (necessary when escaping alien annihilation), plenty of rear storage space for firearms, ammunition, food and other sundries necessary to survive the end of the world. Peep the clip and watch in awe as Cruise navigates the rough family dynamics of a screaming child, a mouthy teenager and a highway littered with obstacles.