Released 6/29/05 Rated: PG-13
As far as this adaptation goes you’re probably better off listening to Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of the story. I haven’t read the book, but from what I have read on Wikipedia the book seems more intense than this film ended up being. The ending kinda undoes everything it works so hard to make. I don’t know if it’s due to the fact that it comes about so suddenly or what. It is a legitimate plot device, and I like it, but it felt like it was just pulled out of the air a little.
There are only a couple of holes and conveniences throughout the movie, as is normal for science fiction. For instance, hole: people get incinerated, yet their clothes flutter to the ground. Unless they get cooked from the inside out I’m not buying it, and it looks slightly cheesy and just wrong. Convenience: the only working car for miles, which our main characters have, has enough room on the interstate to drive on. Everything stopped working at once, and you’re telling me that a full-sized van can make a clean getaway?
The beginning of the movie is more amusing than scary. It’s not bad; there are simply a number of one-liners in the script and slightly humorous situations during the safe moments. It doesn’t really get freaky until about an hour in. And then it gets crazy freaky. But then it stops. Just like that. Then the ending comes about and you’re kinda just left going “What the hell? That’s it?” If you’re looking for a scare, this probably isn’t the movie for you. However, despite all my negative comments, it is a pretty good adaptation of a classic piece of science fiction. I wouldn’t rely on it if you’re trying to get out of reading the book for your literature class though. 🙂
The DVD cover has a quote saying that this is Tom Cruise’s best performance. Personally, I don’t think that’s true. There’s nothing wrong with his performance, I just don’t believe that this is his best.
More likely than not, Hollywood will remake this again in a few years. Maybe it will be better; maybe it won’t. But it doesn’t look they’ve got any other ideas brewing at the moment.