Not since Iron Sky have I anticipated the release of a movie as much as War of the Worlds: Goliath. I have been following the developments surrounding this movie since 2010; I was thus overjoyed when I was contacted by people involved with the project if I would be interested in reviewing War of the Worlds: Goliath.
Set in 1914, 15 years after the first invasion and subsequent defeat of the Martians (as per original War of the Worlds), the earth has rebuilt and utilised salvaged technology from the tripods of the first invasion to bolster its own military strength and form a multinational force of elite troops, A.R.E.S. (Allied Resistance Earth Squadrons), to counter any new threat from Mars. The chief scientist of A.R.E.S. is none other than Nikola Tesla and he has discovered signs of a second invasion being underway, and in deed, the Martians attack again.
The main story line follows the exploits of the most elite crew of the A.R.E.S. ground forces in their Achilles-class tripod Goliath as they strive to repel the invading Martians. Other story lines take place around the A.R.E.S. airship battle squadron in their fight for the sky. Naturally, I dare say, the A.R.E.S. fighter forces are led by none other than the almost mythical Baron Manfred Von Richthofen.
War of the World: Goliath also features a badass Teddy Roosevelt who personally leads his troops in the Battle of New York wielding a heat-ray.
Overall, War of the Worlds: Goliath is one action-packed fun anime in best late 1980’s tradition: Epic battles, over-the-top characters, heroism, and love. Bonus: Time has moved on, so politics, just a pinch, has been sprinkled in for flavour.
The artwork is superb, starting from the subdued, haunting ink-sketched intro scenes to the Roosevelt’s rallying-speech right at the end. Sometimes, the traditional animation and the CGI effects do not blend seamlessly, but War of the Worlds: Goliath was never equipped with a blockbuster-budget, I did not expect it to be as slick and smooth as something done by Pixar.
War of the Worlds: Goliath is one fun, action-packed masterpiece of an independent anime. The movie goes by in a flash and is just the type of entertainment a Steampunk can enjoy with his favourite snack and recreational beverage.
And another bonus: One of the characters is voiced by Adam „Jayne Cobb“ Baldwin. Here’s a few stills and some members of the cast:
9 out of 10 Zeppelins
War of the Worlds: Goliath is a film every Steampunk should have in their collection.