Now don’t go getting excited, this is not a sequel to the Steven Spielberg blockbuster, although the story is pretty much the same. War Of The Worlds 2: The Next Wave is in fact a sequel to the little seen 2005 movie The War Of The Worlds, starring onetime A-Lister C. Thomas Howell.
I’m actually vomiting as I write this (rather immature I appreciate but so is this movie), I knew the film was going to be bad, I knew this because its the work of production company The Asylum, a company that spend their lives ripping off and cashing in on big blockbuster movies. This summer while we enjoy Indiana Jones, The Asylum are digging up Alan Quatermaine, and when Matrix directors the Wachowski brothers are delivering the blockbuster Speed Racer, Asylum will be offering their own version. While I expected the movie to be bad, I never expected it to be quite this horrific, neither was I expecting the worst actress ever put on the face of the earth.
Carrying on from the 2005 movie (or even if you like the Spielberg version) two years after the invasion ended abruptly George (C. Thomas Howell who also directs) picks up transmissions from the aliens, and realises that they have found a way to survive on earth. George teams up with a series of old friends (from the previous movie) as they prepare to fight the oncoming alien swarm.
The first thing I realised at the start of War Of The Worlds 2, was that handbags could actually act; but of course I was wrong that was not a handbag it was in fact C. Thomas Howell, bearing little resemblance to his youthful looks in the movie The Outsiders. I know you should not criticise the looks of others, and believe me I’m one person who should not talk, but really if you look this bad you should either not be acting, or get some plastic surgery. The thing that baffles me is that I recently saw Howell in the moving Fighting Words, in which he looked nowhere as craggy as he does here (Fighting Words made 3 months earlier), I can only assume the pressure of being involved in this movie paid a heavy price on his face. 24 minutes in when he cries, you believe it because it’s extremely likely he was crying about other things.
Making the jump from the 2005 movie is Kim Little (Playing a different character here) as Victoria, now someone really needs to take this woman by the hand and tell her to stop acting, this is by far the most terrible staged accent (Louisiana based I hope) and God awful performance I have EVER seen from an actress, let alone one with a reasonably accomplished work record. Every time I heard her voice I just wretched, things really could not get any worse.
There are some plus sides to the movie, the special effects are fairly good, obviously computer generated, but it’s not a bad attempt I might go as far as to say they are on a par with the movie Independence Day. There is a fairly impressive planes verses alien craft fight off, during the movie which looks incredibly good.The tripods here of H.G. Well’s novel are not like those we are familiar with in other movie and TV offerings, they are more like three legged crabs, a bit like something from the movie Starship Troopers in fact.
Special effects are not enough however to save the movie from itself, with incredibly long pauses in sequences like the story is about to kick into an action break. A distinctive TV movie feel, and so much cheesy soap opera style performances and sentiment that you could be filling a bucket with a combination of sick and tears for months. There is a classic moment when earths attack force are preparing for battle and the squadron leader says “This is a big battle, and some of us won’t make it home”, I found myself saying inside hopefully none will make it home.
I have always quite liked C. Thomas Howell, but he makes a real pigs ear with this movie, it’s dull, boring, with horrific performances (supported by the fact that those that act the worse part funded the project) the likes of which you would never want to see. Howell destroys any credibility he ever had with this movie, it’s something so painful to watch that mid way through I got up and walked away.