One of the most unforgettable movie-going events my wife and I experienced happened ten years ago when we went to watch Steven Spielberg‘s War of the Worlds. We were in Nova Scotia at the time, and it was two years after Hurricane Juan had hit the Dartmouth/Halifax area. Naturally, we were all apprehensive when storms were brewing off the coast that summer, and that night was no exception. To add to the creepiness, it was ice-cold inside the theater. I was sure it would take me a week to thaw from the air conditioning.
If you’ve been following this site long, you’ll know I write my feature Wednesday Warriors for those characters I feel are larger than life or strong in overcoming tribulation. Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) is one of those characters.
I have to say one thing about Tom Cruise. A lot of folks are not into Tom Cruise the man, mainly for his views on psychology or his ties with Scientology or the highly publicized couch-jumping incident on Oprah. War of the Worlds came out while he was courting Katie Holmes. However, regarding Tom Cruise the actor, it is my opinion he is one of the most overlooked actors in the film industry. He should have won an Oscar for his work in Magnolia. The characters he portrays have a quiet vulnerability that shows well on the big screen.
The film War of the Worlds revolves around a father’s quest to protect his children at all costs. Not alien, human or anything else can get in his way to earning the title “Dad”. In a story where one thing goes wrong after another, and the state of the main characters spirals into a dark pit of depression, Ray takes it upon himself to keep everyone sane and safe.
Dealing with an alien invasion is one thing, but in this movie, the audience can feel the frost as Ray’s breath turns to vapor while dashing between buildings with the hope of seeing the storm that is brewing overhead. Unknown to him, the storm is more than a natural occurrence. The churning in the sky signals an ominous force ready to change his life and the lives of those he loves.
Unlike the regular Hollywood heroes who can fight through anything and come out of a battle unscathed, Ray has a complex personality. He’s not likable. He’s not the best father in the world. And, if anything, he is one of the most selfish characters a moviegoer will ever encounter. But when the invasion finally hits, Ray’s instincts kick in and he becomes the one who leads those who depend on him for freedom.
Ray’s fears take a major role in the plot, making him as ordinary as the audience viewing his growth throughout the film. What was once a man filled with assertion of his abilities, transforms into an unlikely hero with weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The key to Ray is his kids. Without his kids, he might as well not live, as denoted in one scene where he had to let one of them go.
Soon after having watched the film and exiting the theater, it had begun to rain. My wife and I dashed to our car and wondered if an alien invasion was in the midst of those clouds.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE SEARCH FOR PARADISE, on sale October 20.
Have you seen War of the Worlds? What are your thoughts about Ray Ferrier in the film?
26 thoughts on “Ray Ferrier”
What I’d really like to see is a faithful adaptation of the original story true to the period described. With good special effects, it would be visually stunning and different than what viewers are accustomed to seeing.
I have to agree with you on Tom Cruise’s performance in ‘War of the Worlds’ he played the part really well.
A lot of modern stories discount the power of a parent in seeking to protect their family. It adds a powerful dynamic to a lot of stories.
Agreed. The power of a parent to protect their child really brings a whole other element to the story!
I enjoyed the movie. I have to laugh when I think that a big seller for a lot of people I know was that this was a movie where Tom wasn’t smiling the whole way through…:)
With all due respect, there have been too many movie remakes & remakes of TV series / American versions of British TV series. The entertainment business needs a shot of new, original ideas, some new concepts in its closet.
There was a TV series, mid – 80’s, which was essentially based on the original ” WotW “. It was okay, albeit a tad on the graphically violent & gory side.
Was it V? Loved that series!
No, just ” War of the Worlds : The Series “. Paramount Studios, I believe. In this versions, the aliens were merely in hibernation from Earth’s microbes. AND they could take over human hosts. Exposure to radioactive waste brought them back.
Tom Cruise is an egomaniac who is on steroids of the mind trip of his own ship, Captain Tom, Navigator Tom and a crew of Tom Cats. Like a said ego personified.
I remember watching that when it was on DVD. Sadly, my biggest memory is that I volunteered to get the pizza halfway through. Requested that it not get paused because I REALLY couldn’t stand the girl. It came down to Rock/Paper/Scissors since all of us wanted some freedom from her. Too much screaming for us.
As far as Tom Cruise, I’m so torn on him. The man’s beliefs turn me off, but he seems like a nice guy and he does good movies. I avoided his stuff for a few years until I watched ‘Tropic Thunder’. I’d heard he had a cameo, but didn’t expect him to the be the foul-mouthed producer that really stole the show. Then I played catch up since I figure should sometimes separate the man from the art.
He does get guff for his affiliation with Scientology ( $cientology ! ) but Richard Gere got much the same for his advocacy of Tibetan Buddhism.
There are lots of celebrities who push ideas that I DON’T always really get alongside, but I endeavor not to let it interfere with my appreciation of their work.
Good point. It could also be that they live their lives by their beliefs like everyone else. The difference is that they’re in the public eye, so what they do comes under more scrutiny.
I recently saw a series of photos of a very attractive model appearing on ” Fox & Friends “, & I tried not to let the idea of her supporting Fox News put a dent in my appreciation of her work. 🙂 Not like I was going to marry her.
Being a celebrity is like living in an aquarium. One reason I would not seek fame.
Political stances must be one of the hardest things to get over when it comes to being a celebrity. Especially today, that topic causes a lot of tension and ends friendships.
Love the aquarium analogy.
You know the old saying about politics & religion……. It’s not wise to discuss them, especially with my family. It’s like tap – dancing in a mine field – with alligators nearby. 🙂
Same here. Conversations get awkward once we run out of movies and TV shows to talk about.
I’m the only – possibly – moderate liberal, non – religious, non – homophobic member of my Bible Belt area family. Awk – Ward !
Yikes. Bet the holidays are a blast.
Funny, but we usually don’t go ” hyper – religious ” around Christmas, etc. We just go right to the food & / or gifts. One time we even had a Christmas champagne brunch.
We tend to go to the movies or sleep in, but we’re Jewish. 😉
I’m pseudo – Christian – Sufi – Zen / Tibetan Buddhist – with native American overtones. Or just plain spiritual. The rest of my relatives are card – carrying Protestant fundamentalist ( Bordering on whack – job fanatics ).
Tropic Thunder was one of the most hilarious movies I have ever seen. I give full credit to that humor over to Tom Cruise’s character Les Grossman whose personality bears a striking similarity to Harvey Weinstein. Remember the line: “You. No not you. Yes, you. Go over there and punch him in the face.” Such a funny movie!
I remember the dancing scene at the end very well. There were people in the audience that froze halfway out of their seat because nobody saw it coming. My wife didn’t realize it was him until a few scenes of his. It was rather surreal.
That and the meltdown scene he has with the kidnappers. There’s an interesting fan video circulating on youtube based on the scene. You can find it when you search for “kinetic typography tropic thunder.” You’re son will need to step out of the room for that one.
I’ll have to search for it then. I’m trying to think of any other role where Cruise cursed so much too.
Other than Magnolia? 🙂