Ground hog day with big guns and aliens; that’s the impression that I got when watching yet another Tom Cruise action movie
Time loop movies are problematic by virtue of their enigmatic nature. No one really understands how they, (time loops) work. I’m so confused!
Let me start by explaining the main premise of the movie. Aliens called mimics invade Earth; after five years of a brutal plodding war of attrition the earth forces are on the verge of annihilation. Enter, Major Bill Cage (Cruise), a REMF public affairs officer, who stupidly offends a General (Brendan Gleeson) and is sent to the front lines for punishment.
Cage who is a Major, has never bothered to learn how weapons work and has never seen combat, is dropped into the thick of it totally unprepared.
Major Cage doesn’t even know how to disengage the safety on his high tech weapon, much use it. It is predictable that he should die in his first engagement with the enemy. By a quirk of luck, cage manages to kill one of the alpha aliens, the controllers of the alien forces. Before he succumbs to his wounds, he is infused with the alien’s blood and acquires the ability to reset. Just like a video game, Cage is re-spawned the previous day, before the mission starts. He seems doomed to replay the day over and over, each time surviving a little longer.
During one of his repeat lives Cage meets Sergeant Rita Vrataski, a hardened combat veteran known as the angel of Verdun. She is the embodiment of hope, because she was instrumental in the earth forces only victory. She tells him find me when you wake up. He does, and she endeavors to train him knowing that he will retain the knowledge with each encounter. With each reset Cage and Rita manage to get a little further off of the beachhead, but the Mimics seem to anticipate every move with every reset. Okay this is starting to get tiring! Enter the exposition fairy in the guise of crazy science guy, Doctor Carter, a disgraced scientist that everyone thinks is crazy. He actually knows what is happening to Cage and explains that Rita also had the gift, or curse to reset, which she acquired in a similar engagement with an Alpha mimic.She lost the ability to reset after being wounded and having a transfusion from a human.
What became confusing to me, is that even though Sgt. Rita realizes what Cage is and what his ability is, she has trouble believing him when he says, this is as far as we get. Her words “come and find me when you wake up, early in the movie prove that she is aware. This fact bugs me. why does she have to be convinced. But by this time, the boring repetition of getting killed over and over is quite taxing on my nerves. I was however committed to seeing this thing through, just to see how it would be resolved.
I guess that if you walk away from a movie thinking WTF for the rest of the day, the director and writer have at least achieved something of a victory.
Would I watch this movie again? Maybe I would, on television where I can channel surf and turn away from the boring or repetitive parts. Performances by Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson raise this movie above B movie schlock. Tom Cruise once again playing the savior of humanity gets old pretty fast.