Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Battle of the Worlds

There were a number of science fiction movies released in the 1950s and 1960s. Battle of the Worlds was not one of the better ones. Far from it. Claude Rains stars as a pompous and unlikable scientist predicting an asteroid's arrival to Earth, and later that it is being controlled by aliens. He happens to be right, although the film is more about his bluster than the events unfolding.

Saddled with bad writing, bad acting, cheap special effects even for the time, with an eerie score that doesn't fit events unfolding on-screen, Battle of the Worlds is a boring slog of exposition that will make you wish the asteroid had crashed into the Earth in the first 5-minutes of the film. The only interesting aspect of the proceedings is the interior set design that is so perfectly 60s view of the future (in stark contrast to any scene outside a scientific facility). 

Originally released in Italy as Il Pianeta degli uomini spenti, the film by writer Ennio De Concini and director Antonio Margheriti is, at best, a curiosity (although not an entertaining one). Starting with the odd score blaring while a young couple swim in the ocean to the conclusion aboard what our scientist names "The Outsider," the film stumbles its way through various abandoned subplots, life and death decisions, and possible the future of the Earth itself at stake without once giving us a reason to care.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Battle of the Worlds
  • IMDb: link

No comments: