I knew there was a reason why War of the Worlds
seemed eminently worthy of ignoring, besides
being a pointless lumbering behemoth of a purpose-made blockbuster, or merely insultingly political on its own merits. It's a sign of a trend, perhaps:
David Koepp, who wrote the screenplay for War of the Worlds, says the Martian attackers in the film represent the American military, while the Americans being slaughtered at random represent Iraqi civilians. I see it differently. I think the Martians symbolize normal Americans, while those being attacked are the numbskulls who run Hollywood. Perhaps the normals went a bit too far in this easy-to-understand allegory, but think of the provocation.
It's relevant to remember that H.G. Wells was, in fact, an unrepentant and particularly unpleasant socialist
, who fancied Lenin "creative" and Italian Fascists "brave and well-meaning."
An insulting and facile political metaphor made out of an H.G. Wells novel? That's not a surprise. The bigger surprise is that so many adaptations of his works have been able to ignore his politics, and focus instead only on the well-told stories therein. If only latter-day sci-fi writers were afforded the same favour when necessary...