“War of the Worlds: Goliath,” hereafter “Goliath,” is supposed to be a spinoff of H.G. Wells’ original story. But it strips out every theme, every mood, and everything else that made Wells’ novel so great and substitutes mindless, incessant action scenes.
When the aliens invade, there is no fear felt. There is only the sight of lasers and missiles flying around and destroying things. The people grunt; they growl; they give or take orders; and some of them die in the line of fire. Every scene just results in one big yawn.
If you’re going to call a film “War of the Worlds,” Wells at least needs to receive some credit. It doesn’t matter how far off from the tone of the original source you are, or if you don’t even use the same characters from the novel. You use the title, you give credit. It’s as simple as that.
Then again, it’s best that Wells’ name is nowhere found in this “War of the Worlds.” He’s probably shouting obscenities from above, wondering how the filmmakers were able to use the title.
Sure, the tripods are there, but that’s really about it. The rest of it tells the story of how some kid survived the first alien invasion in 1899, and 15 years later, the Martians are preparing to strike again. But, wait, some big historical event is about to happen on Earth. Yes, World War One is close to starting after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie. But because of the impending alien invasion, every country comes to an agreement and joins forces to fight off a force more powerful than humankind.
The animation looks spectacular… for the most part. Some of it is breathtaking, while a lot of it is badly rendered and choppy – resulting in some awkward scenes of bro-hugging and cue card-reading performances. There are some times where it’s uncertain if it wants to be anime, or if it wants to look like Richard Linklater’s “A Scanner Darkly.”
Aside from the opening minutes, there is not a single shred of emotion found in “Goliath.” Even what little it has is not enough to make a person care. The screenplay is too riddled with action scenes where people try to take down a tripod, and they wind up getting incinerated by a laser. And then the humans bring out their machines and everything goes BOOM! BANG! WHIZZ!
You’ll just go, “ENOUGH!”