Sunday, November 13, 2011

War of the Worlds Goliath, new trailer released.

I have been following the long gestation of the new animated movie War of the Worlds: Goliath for some time now and with the recent securing of an international distributor, it looks like the publicity machine is gearing up. A new trailer posted to the Heavy Metal site certainly raises the hope that War of the Worlds fans are in for something special when the movie is released in 2012.

At over 4 minutes long, this new trailer gives us a very good, action orientated view of the movie. It’s stunning; very anime in style (though the production team is based in Malaysia) but most importantly, it definitely looks as if the designers have a passion for the detail, not just for the hardware, but the way a post invasion world re-engineered with Martian technology would look and feel.  We’ve never seen The War of the Worlds re-imagined in this way before in a movie, (Scarlet Traces comes closest in comic book terms) and the potential to really knock something out of the ballpark is there for all to see.

What the trailer doesn’t give is a very clear idea of the plot. It’s a breathless montage of marching Tripods, giant robots, explosions and aerial dogfights, and while it looks absolutely great, this movie will fail for me if it plays like a 90 minute video game. Of course the trailer is rightly pushing the buttons of a theatre going public saturated in high octane action imagery, so I was much relieved to also watch an excellent behind the scenes feature, which not only gives us a glimpse into the making of the movie and the obvious commitment of cast and crew to the project, but also provides an insight into the characters and dialogue.

If you’re read my reviews of the precursor War of the Worlds: Goliath comic book stories published in the pages of Heavy Metal magazine, you’ll know that I found them very lacking in any kind of compelling narrative, but listening in on some of the recording sessions with the likes of Adrian Paul and Adam Baldwin, I found myself cautiously hopeful that the story and characterisations underpinning the action will indeed rise to the occasion. Director Joe Pearson, co-writer David Abramowitz and the amazingly talented Malaysian animators and designers also paint a highly positive picture of their commitment to the story, such that this fusion of far-east design and western story telling could really turn out to be something special. I’m cautiously optimistic.