(Originally posted on i-Pocalypse.com on 7-08-05)
War of the Worlds is a movie with a little black button smack dab in the middle of it. Oh, it’s not a literal or real button or anything like that. It is a figurative button. And even figuratively it isn’t a terribly unique button. Actually, it is a rather drab figurative button and has that dull and slightly scratched look that comes from regular figurative use. It is not a button that you would think an acclaimed director such as Steven Spielberg would ever use, however, there it is. The effects of this button can vary from film to film, but the end result is generally the same. In this case, half way through the film, when Spielberg (and screenwriter David Koepp) figuratively press it, War of the Worlds goes from a challenging, intense, scary meditation on lost opportunity and fear to a monumentally silly monster movie rife with cliché and an embarrassingly schmaltzy ending.