War of the Worlds is on Channel 4 tonight at 10.10pm.
Tom Cruise stars in Steven Spielberg’s take on HG Wells’s classic sci-fi tale of alien invasion in which humanity appears utterly powerless before the might of an extraterrestrial attack. Can one man keep his family safe against all the odds? Also starring Dakota Fanning and Tim Robbins. Ray Ferrier (Cruise) works a crane at the docks, spending his days looking down at freight containers in the same way that the spoken prologue informs us, vast alien intelligences have been looking down at the earth for centuries. Ray’s pretty irresponsible. He drives a muscle car dangerously home from work to turn up 30 minutes late for his kids, who are coming to stay with him. He mocks their stepfather’s car for being safe. So that’s Ray. His kids are Rachel (Fanning) and Robbie (Justin Chatwin).
Then aliens start coming down from the sky in lightning bolts and taking their positions in humungous tripod machines that they buried around our planet centuries before. It’s an invasion. A global catastrophe that threatens humanity’s grip over the world. But can Ray keep his kids safe, at least until the aliens reveal whatever it is they have planned? And will the experience help him learn how to finally become a better dad, in case that’ll matter post-invasion?