I love War of The Worlds. The book, the radio play, the 1950s movie, the TV show, comics, and even.. deep breath… the Spielberg version. That’s why War of the Worlds: Goliath peaked my interested, but my interest was even more peaked when I found out it was available in 3D. But what in the heck is War of the Worlds: Goliath? It’s an understandable question. I only heard about this film by reading 3D Blu Ray forums looking for new releases. The people there said it was pretty solid and with a price point of only 12.96 on Amazon I had to check it out.
The Movie: War of the Worlds: Goliath is an animated film that’s produced by Kevin Eastman (yes, that Kevin Eastman of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fame). It was released in 2012 in… Malaysia. Okay, weird. Supposedly it began production in 2009. Yikes. It had limited screenings in the U.S. of this year an it came out on Blu-Ray this month.
The beginning of the film features the very end of the war depicted in the HG Wells version. We’re then taken 15 years into the future where the world is a lot different than the one as we know it today. Humanity was able to use the Martian technology and so the world is fairly steam punk, what with zeppelins and such around. Oh and because the martians used tripods, we’re able to make mechs now.
Teddy Roosevelt is in charge of a special army that was formed to combat the Martians if they ever came back again. Yep, this film use a few real historical figures. Who developed the new tech from the Martian stuff? Tesla, naturally. Anyway, this army is A.R.E.S. and just when the world is about to go into World War I, the Martians invade again.
Overall the movie is pretty enjoyable, if you like things like steampunk, mechs, alternate history, or War or The Worlds then this will be up your alley. The story itself is serviceable for the action and there’s bits here and there that help it rise above a completely standard affair.
The film’s biggest flaw (if you consider it that) is that it feels less like a film and more like an extended episode of a cartoon series, or rather, the pilot to a cartoon series. This might be due to the fact that the director, Joe Person, has a hefty amount of credits that are attached to famous cartoons. He worked on Duck Tales, Rocko’s Modern Life, and even Skeleton Warriors if anyone remembers that.
The score is one of the weakest points of the film. It never really feels like it fits, particularly the opening credits music.
While the animation isn’t 100% amazing, in particular the exploding mechs look a little weird, it’s really good considering the low budget. I expected much worse and overall it exceeded my expectations.
The voice cast did a particularly decent job. It features primarily regular working stiff voice actors and your regularly working but not huge named actors that have appeared in things like the Highlander TV series, including the Highlander himself Adrian Paul. Adam Baldwin (famous for Jayne in Firefly and being a huge asshole) is in it and that was almost enough to not get me to watch it. Seriously that guy is such a douchebag, but he’s got a bit part.
The 3D: War of the Worlds: Goliath stunned me by how great the 3D is for being a pretty much unknown film with zero promotion. I’ve read in places that only 3D was applied to the Tripods and other bits. That’s incredibly misleading, there’s lots of layers of depth placed in the film. It’s not the greatest 3D experience of my life, however the application of 3D in this film does make it a more enjoyable experience.
It’s amazing by just adding layers of depth in a 2D film how it becomes so much more engaging. I’d really with other 2D films would get this kind of treatment.
The Final Verdict: If you own a 3D TV and you like steampunk, alt history, and/or sci-fi and think you’ll dig this kind of thing, get it. It’s cheap enough where it’s worth it.
If you don’t have a 3D TV and still like those types of things, I’d say at least rent it to give it a shot.