<strong>Rating: </strong>2/5Rate this
Time Out saysAct I is an Anarchists' Ball. Massive metal spaceships loom over the cities of the world. The destruction of the White House is just for starters. Annihilation of the human race is on the agenda. US President Pullman, a wimp ex-fighter jock, listens to communications expert Goldblum (only in a Rupert Murdoch film could a TV exec save the world!). Act II, the survivors regroup at a secret military base in New Mexico to organise Act III, the fightback. Emmerich's globe-buster is an index of American populist fantasy. Forget subtext. This scrappy, spectacular, juvenile remake of War of the Worlds and 101 other sci-fi movies can be taken at face value. It's not about Them, it's about US: At least this America is strongly pluralist; it's black (Smith as the heroic top gun); it's Jewish (Goldblum and Hirsch as comic relief); it's even a little bit feminine - though Fierstein, Margaret Colin, et al, are really just emotional punctuation marks. The politics cut both ways, balancing pro- and anti-government impulses with Pullman as a vaguely Clinton-esque figure in the middle, pacifist by inclination, warrior by experience. Everything feels anti-climactic after the fireworks, but the moral is clear: it's the end of the world as we know it. And we feel fine.