Genre: Action, Thriller, Military, Science Fiction.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Kick Gurry, Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riley, Jonas Armstrong, Franz Drameh, Masayoshi Haneda, Tony Way, Noah Tyler,
Year Of Release: 2014
Certificate: 12 (UK)
Runtime: 113 Minutes
Director: Doug Liman
Synopsis: “A military officer is brought into an alien war against an extraterrestrial enemy who can reset the day and know the future. When this officer is enabled with the same power, he teams up with a Special Forces warrior to try and end the war.” IMDB
Doug Liman is a very hit and miss director, well at least for me, he has had some success in “Swingers”, “Mr & Mrs Smith” and “The Bourne Identity”, then some less than enjoy work with the likes of “Jumper” and “Getting In”. Anyway, back to what matters, Liman’s jump back into the world of Science Fiction, this time around he truly got it right. He really brought on his experience of character driven story like in Bourne and comedic repartee as seen in Mr & Mrs Smith, using past elements really helped him make a thoroughly enjoyable film.
The film really made Cruise take a less than leading role we have seen in previous films, he shared the screen time pretty equally with the wonderfully talented Emily Blunt, Cruise plays Major William Cage a high ranking American military pen pusher essentially, on the other hand Emily Blunt plays Sergeant Rita Rose Vrataski a highly decorated soldier who the humans believe is their secret weapon to take down the alien invasion.
The trailers really never gave this film the justice it deserves, well not for me anyway, they painted a pretty dull attempt at Science Fiction with Comedy with Action elements. The film is a great Action/Sci-Fi based blockbuster with great elements of Comedy which are used to break up the despair of “the end of days” feel. The on screen relationship between Cruise and Blunt was great, and it’s not often I compliment Mr Cruise, however in this event he had a great relationship with Blunt. Blunt’s character Rite not surprisingly nicknamed “full metal bitch” is an utter bad ass not to be messed with and she oozes alpha female, while also having an air of vulnerability that makes her a very relatable and believable character. Also Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson are usually a great addition to any cast they appear, this is no exception to that, they were great in their roles of Master Sergeant Farell (Paxton) and General Brigham (Gleeson) while they do not exceed the roles and do something we haven’t seen before they do make them their own.
A lot of reviews I have read in the past couple of months have made fleeting comments about how it is inspired by video games, and they are not wrong, the entire film feels like you’re playing a video game and that is not a bad thing. Especially for my fellow gamers out there, who like may also be a little disappointed in how video game adaptations have been a bit below par as a whole. However, this while not based on a video game really thrives on all the video game elements that make gaming so great. If you look at Empire Magazine’s review of the film they said “When Cage (Cruise) awakens into the first day of his enforced demotion (also the second-to-last of his life), he is effectively starting from a save point. When, eventually, a close encounter on that bloody beach with a tentacle-flailing, blast-furnace mouthed “alpha” — the end-of-level boss — causes his health bar to retract to zero, we snap back to that save point, and he must ‘play’ the two days again. With each replay, he must learn how to survive to reach the next ‘level’ (to ultimately meet the end-of-game boss), although, paradoxically, just as we learn from our mistakes in life, he must learn from his deaths. (If you’ve ever sunk days of playtime into a Dark Souls game, you’re guaranteed to sympathise.)” Which is 100% what I would have said, just less professionally written ha.