Interesting, but somewhat uninvolving adaptation of H.G. Wells' prophetic opus. Menzies crafts an impressive visual spectacle, especially considering when it was made. But a number of intriguing ideas aside, the bland characters are just devices for pushing forward a plot that's more concerned with preachy idealism than compelling storytelling. But still, a fascinating classic for science-fiction fans.
I was blown away by the foresight that was put into this picture, predicting everything from the London blitz to flat screen TVs. It’s also rather smart and captivating science fiction, with big bold ideas and set pieces and scale to match. The imagery is often haunting, and the events depicted are sometimes truly chilling in a surprisingly real way. Effective on most accounts.
Beautiful sets, innovative special effects, and a few good digs at the society's military complex. But overall, the movie was an incoherent mess. All the actors were poor, nothing redeeming at all about the movie beyond the special effects.
Science fiction films are tailored made for ideas and visual wonder and this film certainly provides plenty of both. It's strongest asset is its production design which is phenomenal. But unlike the superior Metropolis this visual lecture has little-to-no character development, only adequate performances (except Massey), & an unneeded subplot of bourgeois revolution. It's visionary but not quite a masterpiece.
Even if the story doesn't hold that much, and there is a lot of "preachy idealism" involved, I think this film is visually compelling and impeccably executed considering the time when it was made. And the opening sequence is a masterpiece.