War of the Worlds (2005)


War of the Worlds (2005)

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Fade in – context of the story (narrated by Morgan Freeman). Images of bacteria open and close this story.

Introduce Hero - his superior skills; his status (people require his attention and help); his archetype (the common man); his nature (selfish); references to his sexual life

Hero's romantic challenge - his ex-wife

Introduce hero's allies – his daughter Rachel and his son Robbie

Expand romantic challenge / expand on the hero's Ordinary World / character; ex-wife sets hero a task (“take care of our kids).

Foreshadow of the adventure (news reports of freakish light storms).

Expand inner challenge / expand character and relationship between hero and allies – fraught relationship between Ray and his kids

Foreshadow of the adventure (more news reports of storms)

Expand relationship with ally #1 / Princess (Rachel).

Major foreshadow of the adventure – the alien storm and it's effects

Expand relationship with ally #2 – (Robbie)

Expand status of the hero – (Ray's interaction with other people; them following him around; them asking him questions)

Call to adventure – (attack / appearance of the antagonist / aliens)

Refusal of the Call – Ray returns, is shocked and momentarily refuses to believe what he has witnessed; Rachel and Robbie resist following Ray.

Magic carpet and Interdiction – Ray et al get in the SUV; Mannie orders Ray et al to get out of his SUV; Ray breaks the interdiction, ordering Mannie to get in the SUV under pain of death.

Forced to the adventure – the alien attack forces hero et al to leave in haste.

Journey to the First Threshold – dangerous and in haste; amidst internal conflict and character development.

First Threshold – expand the hero's internal challenge; expand relationships between hero and allies

Belly of the Whale – Hero et al go underground (the basement); antagonist attacks; Hero passes the trial (escapes from the attack and fire).

Meeting with the Oracle – the journalists show Ray the scale of the attack; provide information regarding the aliens.

Forced out of the First Threshold – Ray hears the aliens coming; Robbie finally believes the nature of the danger (sees the destruction).

Journey to the Ordeal – conflict and expansion of hero and ally relationships

Warning about the dangers of the Ordeal – (stay together; the aliens; other people wanting the car); Rachel spotting the dead bodies in the river

Refusal to endure the Ordeal – Robbie tries to join the passing troops; motivations behind allies actions

Expansion of hero and ally relationships

Pulled into the Ordeal (forced out of their car)

Foreshadows of the Ordeal (comments that “Europe got the worst of it.”); the burning train, the birds

Attack of the antagonist; escape from the antagonist – the rush to the boat; Robbie tries to help others; Ray acknowledges the character of his son

Rebirth / Near Death Experience / Baptism / Night Sea Journey / Battle with the Serpent – Ray, Robbie and Rachel are forced into the sea

Escape from Serpent – Ray et al run from the boat and the alien attack; the shower of clothes

Separation and Moral Lessons – Robbie runs toward the troops; Ray needs to let his son go.

Belly of the Whale

Meeting the Demon King;

Enhancing of relationships (Ray comforting his daughter)

Hero growing (Ray sings a lullaby);

Relationship with the Demon King (Ray interacts with Harlan);

Reminder of the antagonist

Enhancing the character of the Demon King

Reminder of the antagonist

Danger of the Demon King; Harlan gets close to Rachel, confrontation between hero and Demon king

Hunted by the antagonist; with superior gifts, the hero diverts / escapes from the antagonist (Ray uses the mirror to divert the alien eye).

Battle with the Demon King in a dangerous place / situation - Ray and Harlan battle in the presence of the aliens (Ray seems to lose this battle).

Ritual Death – Ray forced to kill Harlan to save his daughters life (against the odds, as he lost the previous tug-o-war).

Meeting with the Goddess – Ray's wins his daughter over (as indicated by her cuddling him).

Forced into the Final Confrontation – the aliens seem to capture Rachel; Ray defends against the attack

Search for the Goddess – Ray searches for Rachel

Final antagonism of the antagonist – the aliens really do capture Rachel

Magical Gifts – Ray gets the grenades

Journey to the Final Confrontation / a Dangerous Place / Journey to the Princess – Ray reaches the attached alien cage and finds Rachel.

Battle with the antagonist – Ray destroys an alien tripod with the grenades (catharsis #1).

Reward - bacteria have destroyed the aliens; the army destroys the enfeebled alien tripod (catharsis #2); we get a closer look at the dying alien (catharsis #3).

Inner challenge conquered – Ray returns to Boston to find his family and loved ones, including his separated son and his ex-wife. Father, son conflict resolved; romantic challenge resolved.

Fade Out – Morgan Freeman's narration explains the death of the aliens due to the bacteria.


by Kal Bashir