Another Sci-Fi wanna be blockbuster starring Tom Cruise this year? I guess he’s not gonna stop until he gets it right. Well good news, everyone! This movie is it! A Tom Cruise vehicle that finally delivers an interesting story, a great premise, excellent visuals and good characters. It’s probably the least Cruise-y he’s been since Tropic Thunder. His shirt stayed on, people! More importantly I enjoyed the hell out of this film from start to finish. In the not so distant future asteroids are hitting the earth. These rocks are filled with alien creatures that quickly begin to crush populations, slowly but surely taking over our planet. Due to their ability to adapt to any tactic or armament thrown at them they are soon called Mimics. Mankind needs an army to fight them and to recruit that army we need propaganda. Officer Cage is the man in charge of the fims being made to recruit soldiers. Only now he’s being ordered to the front line to shoot first hand footage. Having never been in combat he resists and attempts to blackmail the General in charge. Well this doesn’t work out in his favor as the General is now pissed. Cage is quickly knocked out and wakes up exactly as you’ve seen him in the trailers, confused and in handcuffs on a military base where he’s been set up and will shortly be going to the front lines as a private, not an officer. Eventually Cage does see combat in a suit of armor he has no idea how to control. I don’t want to spoil anything but just know that he dies in a very interesting way. This causes him to wake up the previous day on the base in handcuffs. Again.
This is our premise. We have a weasely former officer stuck in the same day over and over. No one wants to believe him as he keeps going to this beach and dying over and over… until he shows off a bit of his future knowledge to Rita (Emily Blunt), the Full Metal Bitch… but don’t call her that to her face. She’ll make you regret it. However she sees what he can do and knows what has happened. Now he has an ally is this madness.
I won’t spoil anything but I will say that this event is only happening to him while still having someone believe him is a neat dynamic. This isn’t Groundhog Day where the day repeats until he gets it right for no known reason. There are defined rules and to restart the day Cage must die every time.
I’ll stop there as the story is fun to watch unfold. The pacing of the story is great as well. Just when it’s about to get tedious we get great action breaks to keep the flow going. And boy, the fight scenes are so much fun due to the cool mech armor and the scary freaky design of the mimics. You barely get a look at them in the trailer but mostly because they are that damn fast. When you see them really in action it is flat out scary. The faces they have never move but that works to make them just that much scarier. They are super lethal so when we see Cage or Rita take them down it’s that much cooler. Especially when she’s using that giant Final Fantasy Buster Sword of hers.
The acting is good as well. Mostly I just love Cruise because he’s not some super badass like he is in most films. You can actually start to see his age and it works to keep him feeling like a real person stuck in a horrific situation. Emily Blunt was also a joy to watch if for no reason other than having such a strong female presence, even stronger than the lead. There was never any doubt who was in charge from beginning to end.
And that ending… I’ll just say you never truly know what is going to happen at that point. That level of tension was a blast.
This is the kind of movie we’ve needed. A super solid sci-fi action piece that isn’t a sequel or a remake or a comic book movie. Sure it’s based on a book but not one that people are overly familiar with. It’s fun and scary and intriguing. Bottom line is I have zero complaints about this movie. It’s not the most amazing thing ever but it was really great all the way through. With that in mind I would like to point out that I grade films on what they present, not in comparison to other films. So yeah… gotta hand over the five stars to this one. I can’t wait to see it again and I will buy the blu-ray as soon as I can get my hands on it.
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