Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Brendan Gleeson and Bill Paxton star in this fun sci-fi action film that plays like an alien war version of Groundhog Day. Cruise stars as Cage, a major in the American army, working as a media adviser, following the beginnings of an alien attack that has taken over most of Europe.
In conversation with General Brigham (Gleeson) he balks at an order to report from the front line of the invasion. Brigham has him busted down to private, and processed through to join the invading troops as a soldier.
Each soldier is kitted out in a mechanical suit that carries all manner of weapons and no one is currently better with them than Rita (Blunt) who somehow, almost single-handedly scored a victory for Earth in Verdun.
Cage is less than thrilled and on the day of the attack he’s killed by one of the aliens, known as a mimic, but infected by its blood, he reawakens at the start of the day, and has to live it over and over again. And each time he is killed, the day resets.
Conferring with Rita, the pair develop a plan, live, die, repeat, getting further and further each day in their attempt to find the ‘Omega’ alien which, if destroyed could stop the invasion cold.
I love a good time loop story, and this one is solid, and entertaining. Cage learns about his fellow soldiers, how and when to move on the invasion, and is set on finding the Omega, no matter how many times he has to die to do it.
The story is engaging, the effects are top-notch, and it’s so much fun. And then, of course, there’s Bill Paxton as Master Sergeant Farrell – it just reminds me of how much I miss him, and that he was taken from us too soon.
It’s a huge, enjoyable film that balances the action, the terror, the drama, and the humour, walking a balancing act that never teeters too far. Cruise is solid here, and it’s interesting to watch his character arc, considering where Cage starts out at the beginning of the film and where he ends up by story’s end.
And who doesn’t like to see Blunt going around and kicking all manner of ass? She slips easily into the role of Rita, and grounds and makes her a believable character. In fact both Cruise and Blunt attempt to ground their characters as much as possible, allowing the audience to follow them more easily when the fantastic begins to happen.
And we keep getting tempted with rumours of a sequel…