War of the Worlds (2005) was all ethos, much pathos, no logos.
A tale of materialistic evolution this is. Surprising? Well all of us (including marauding tripeds from space) are just competitors in game of survival of the fittest right?
So things like murder, theft, and genocide are only killing, taking and exterminating in a purely materialistic world, whether it's aliens or your next door neighbor.
This movie is a horror movie but not in the familiar sense that we use the term. It is the horror of human life being reduced to rats in a cage fighting for survival.
There is precious little plot or character development in the film which lessens the emotional impact of the horrors visited on the cast.
The film serves as a handy example of the foolishness of ethics without God. As I asked my ethics professor in college, "why should I not steal, rape and kill if I can get away with it and, as is likely the case, a meteor will hit the earth in a thousand or ten thousand years and wipe all of humanity out anyway?" The best my professor could muster was: "I can't imagine why you would ask such a question."
Well, watch War of the Worlds and ask why murder is wrong if there is no God who serves as a transcendent judge of all of humanity. It's not just an important question, it's the most important question of human behavior.
Spielberg portrays an amoral world of evolution where the answer to my question seems to be, "Kill, steal, rape? These are just part of the march of life and death and the evolution of the species, whether human, or alien."
As I mentioned in my review of Munich, the moral universe of Schindler's List is far from this film.
If you enjoy the disturbing horror of a deadly, remorseless biological process then you missed the full effect of this film when it was on the big screen.
My Rating: Rentable