Review: War of the Worlds – Goliath / Cert: TBC / Director: Joe Pearson / Screenplay: Joe Pearson, David Abramowitz / Starring: Adrian Paul, Adam Baldwin, Elizabeth Gracen / Release Date: TBC
Imagine what a steampunk War of the Worlds would be like, and you've basically got War of the Worlds: Goliath. Directed by Joe Pearson and starring Adrian Paul, Adam Baldwin, Elizabeth Gracen and many others, this brilliant re-imagining of a timeless story takes viewers on a thrilling adventure through a very different Earth. Pearson's world-building inspires and amazes, and it won't take long to become completely immersed in his vision.
It's 1914. The world is still reeling from a devastating attack by Martians decades before. Various world leaders (Nikola Tesla being one of them) know another, deadlier invasion is inevitable, so they put together a strike force to combat and stop the invasion before it's too late. Almost on cue, the Martians return, this time in greater numbers and with even more firepower than last time. Led by a ridiculously outgunned group of soldiers, the human resistance find themselves overwhelmed by Martian foes and must take a noble stand against the forces trying to steal their planet from them.
The film's voice cast is, for the most part, more than competent, but some of the minor players desperately needed to be recast prior to the movie's release. Luckily, their screen time doesn't take up much of the film's 82 minute runtime, so the lack of talent or energy on their end is easily overlooked. The main cast, on the other hand, shines and establishes a deep connection between audience and character that just isn't common in modern cinema. Wilson (skillfully played by Adam Baldwin), Patrick O'Brien (Adrian Paul) and Eric Wells (Peter Wingfield) stand out as the best of the bunch, blending humour with an almost off-putting sincerity that fosters genuine sympathy from the viewer.
Pearson's inventive take on the classic alien invasion tale focuses almost entirely on the militaristic side of the conflict instead of showcasing the terror of Earth's citizens, which could have been an absolute disaster. Luckily, he makes the heroes interesting and lovable enough that viewers likely won't mind.
A minor quibble we have with this otherwise phenomenal movie is that it moves too fast. The climax feels slapped together and predictable, slightly soiling an otherwise incredibly imaginative film. It's mildly disappointing, and definitely had us scratching our heads at the derivative and soulless approach Pearson took to closing his movie.
All in all, though, War of the Worlds: Goliath is top-notch animated fare, complete with gorgeous animation and some truly memorable characters. We just wish everything came together a bit better.
Expected Rating: 9 out of 10 stars