Starring: Frank Grillo, Mel Gibson, Naomi Watts, Michelle Yeoh, Annabelle Wallis, Ken Jeong, Will Sasso, Selina Lo, Meadow Williams
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Action sci-fi directed and co-written by Joe Carnahan. The story follows retired special forces soldier Roy Pulver (Frank Grillo), who finds himself trapped in a sinister program, which results in a never-ending time loop leading to his death. In a race against the clock, Pulver must hunt down Colonel Ventor (Mel Gibson), the powerful head of the government program, while outrunning skilled ruthless assassins determined to keep him from the truth in order to break out of the loop, save his ex-wife, Jemma (Naomi Watts), and live once again for tomorrow.
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Roy Pulver: [narrating] Can you imagine waking up every day, with some random a**hole, like Mr. Good Morning here, trying to hack you up with a f***ing machete. Seriously.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] This might have been fun for a while. Once the shock wore off, once I realized what the hell was happening, after nearly a hundred and forty times, it just f***ing got annoying. And I want it to stop. But I know it won’t.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] As many times as I’ve seen this happen to my apartment, I still can’t help but think, “F***, man, this is a lease. The landlord is already an a**hole, anyway. And I’m never ever getting my security deposit back.”
Roy Pulver: [narrating] It wasn’t always like this. I was happy once. I really was. I had a woman that I loved. But now I’m just pi**ed off.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] Know how it feels, falling four storeys to the street below? It f***ing hurts is how it feels.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] I used to complain that every day it felt the same. And then May 9th came. And now every day is the same. Same wake-up scream, same machete-wielding a**hole. Same everything, with slight variations.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] One thing that never changes is I die. Every single day. I die.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] Now, truth be told, I don’t even know why they want to kill me, or what I’ve done to deserve getting killed, but there’s a s**t-ton of them.
Guan Yin: [as she kills Roy] I am Guan Yin. And Guan Yin has done this. Roy Pulver: [narrating] Her name means Goddess of Mercy. I think she digs irony.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] I gave them all nicknames. Pam, Smiley, the German twins, Roy number 2, who just happens to be some a**hole who looks exactly like me. And sometimes I manage to kill them. But it doesn’t matter. They always find me. And eventually, they take me out.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] I don’t know how this is possible, or why I keep repeating the same day. I’ve never had time to figure it out. It’s a s**t show from the second I open my eyes.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] Jemma. The only woman I’ve ever loved, and the one person who has the answers I’m looking for.
Roy Pulver: [narrating, referring to Jemma] Why is she dead? Who killed her? I have never lived long enough to find out.
Chef Jake: You look like death taking a dump. What happened to you? Roy Pulver: I just woke up wrong. I’m fine, Jake. It happens all the time.
Roy Pulver: Can I get a large bottle of that Baijiu, please? You know what, Jake? Make it two large bottles. Chef Jake: Two! Jesus Christ! Hear ye, hear ye! Sir Osis of Liver. I’m kidding. Alcoholics unanimous, am I right? Roy Pulver: You know you got today, right, Jake? Chef Jake: Because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
Dave: [as Roy drinks straight from the bottle of Baijiu] How can you drink like that? Roy Pulver: How can you not?
Chef Jake: [referring to Dai Feng] S**t. She just stared at me. Roy Pulver: Have you ever been with a woman? Chef Jake: Excuse me? Roy Pulver: Have you ever been with a woman? Chef Jake: I think I’m catching a fish, if you know what I mean. Roy Pulver: I think you have a better chance of growing a p**is on your forehead, Jake.
Roy Pulver: Have you ever been shot in the face, Dave? I was shot in the face. A funny thing happened to me right before I died. This was a while back now. It was a forty-five ACP round. Enters here. Clean. Bullet winds up in my mouth, almost intact. And I remember tasting steak. Yeah. Like a really, really good rib-eye. And it wasn’t only until much later, when I was alive again, I said, “S**t. That was my tongue, being cooked by the heat of the bullet.” That’s what I tasted. My tongue. Can you believe that s**t? That’s f***ing wild. That is a true story, Dave.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] Why do I let it happen? Why not? Because outside this bar, no matter what direction I run, and no matter how hard I fight, I’ve never lived past 12:47 PM. They always get me. A bunch of a**holes I’ve never met, killing me for reasons that remain a mystery. And she’s dead. My girl. Gone in a moment further back than I can ever go. Stuck here in the death loop of a never-ending day.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] I know I can’t keep drinking my way through it. Not when every day ends like this. I need a plan now. I need to make somebody pay. They have an army. All I have is time.
[the day prior to the time loop, Roy visits Jemma at her work] Roy Pulver: I mean, it’s really just luck that you got in touch with me at all. Jemma Wells: Oh, yeah. The amount of luck it took to find you in the bar at the bottom of your apartment building. What would be odds? Roy Pulver: Well, hello there, sarcasm. How you been, stranger? Haven’t heard from you in a while.
Roy Pulver: [referring to the device] What does it do? Jemma Wells: What’s it do? Unmakes all of time and space. And destroys the planet in its entirety, if improperly used. Roy Pulver: No s**t. Wait, like Doomsday destroy? Well, you must be really stressed.
Jemma Wells: You loved that life a lot more than you loved the idea of sharing one with us. Getting shot at is way more exciting than diapers and minivans. Roy Pulver: Right, right, right. There’s your go-to argument, and you know that. I’m just an a**hole who didn’t want to stick around, right?
Roy Pulver: [referring to Joe] I lost you. Okay? I know that I blew it. I made my peace with it. Please don’t let that happen with my son. That’s all I’m asking. He’s our boy, Jemma.
Brett: [referring to Roy] He doesn’t look like much. Colonel Clive Ventor: No one ever notices the housefly until he f***s up a good bowl of soup, Brett. There’s something I don’t like about him. He has that trait. Brett: What trait is that? Colonel Clive Ventor: The overachiever who makes up for a lack of talent with hustle. The guy on the playground I grew up hating.
Jemma Wells: I see a lot of you in Joe, I do. His determination, his willingness to succeed no matter what. He has some of your best qualities. But he also has your selfishness, and your ability to just disappear when it suits him, and run from responsibility. Roy Pulver: Just when I thought we were turning a corner.
Roy Pulver: What do you want from me? Just tell me. Just tell me! Jemma Wells: I want the man I fell in love with a long time ago, the one who gave me a son. The strong, confident version of you. Not the Roy who’s out every night getting hammered and banging a different bimbo. [she embraces him as Brett enters the room] Jemma Wells: Remember this. Osiris.
Roy Pulver: Alice is a dental hygienist. Alice: Which is weird, because I really hate teeth. I mean, just the texture of them grosses me out. Gabrielle: Then a career in dentistry seems like… Alice: Like the last thing I should be doing? Yeah, I know. I know. But, you know, I’m all about the challenge. I like to really push myself out of my comfort zone. Roy Pulver: It’s the only way to grow really. Alice: So true.
Gabrielle: [Roy] You’re still in love. With someone else. It’s in your eyes. In the sadness I see there. There is a woman you long for, but it’s not me. And it’s not our lovely hygienist.
Jemma Wells: [over phone] I think I might have to do something drastic, and if anything happens, promise me you’ll do what you do. Roy Pulver: I can’t hear you, Jemma. Jemma Wells: I’m going to need your help.
Alice: What did I miss? Roy Pulver: Oh, hi. Well, you know, we were talking about the hottest people on the planet. And naturally, your name came up.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] I should have tried to call Jemma back when I was drunk, and horny, and I didn’t give a s**t. I didn’t know how important it was. I didn’t know it would be the last time that I’d ever hear her voice. Some things you can’t re-do. And some things you’re forced to do, over and over again. I know this whole thing leads back to her. I just have no idea what “this whole thing” actually is.
Roy Pulver: [reading Jemma’s message] “Happy birthday, Roy. May you always live your life forward. And always remember, time waits for no man.”
Roy Pulver: [narrating] All I’ve been doing is running for my life this entire time. Now I’ve got my first real clue to what the f*** might be happening to me. All I need now is a little ceasefire, and somewhere quiet where I can get some reading done.
Roy Pulver: [narrating, reading from the book Jemma sent him] Osiris and Isis were a devoted husband and wife. Blah, blah. She was an Egyptian high priestess, ideal mother and wife. Protector of the dead. Skilled in all magical spells for transport through the afterlife and beyond. Osiris was eventually dismembered into fourteen parts and scattered across Egypt by his enemy. What the f*** kind of birthday present is this?
Roy Pulver: [referring to the video game arcade] You got a son here or something? Slack-Jawed Dude: I’m childless by choice, bro. Roy Pulver: Whose choice?
Joe: Hey, are you like that guy, the one from Taken, who has a particular set of skills? Roy Pulver: Liam Neeson? Joe: Yeah. Roy Pulver: No. He’s kind of a fake tough guy. But me, I’m the real guy.
Joe: What did you want to tell me, Roy? [he turns and picks up Joe to protect him as he gets shot] Roy Pulver: Joe, I’m your father. Roy Pulver: [narrating] In all that fear I saw my son’s love for me for a split second. And it was beautiful. Please. Please, let this death be the last.
Dave: [as Roy is pulling out his teeth] Oh, goddamn! This s**t! Roy Pulver: Don’t worry, Dave, it’ll grow back. Dave: Have you lost your mind?!
Roy Pulver: [narrating] I have died a hundred and forty-four times, as of today. But this particular day, I finally get to do something about it.
Roy Pulver: Drop it. Pam: What, the tooth? Roy Pulver: No, not the tooth. Pam: I’m not dropping it. Roy Pulver: Well, it drops, or you drop. Pam: This is a custom handmade Walter PPK that cost me nearly half a million dollars at auction. Roy Pulver: You bought a handgun for half a million dollars?
Roy Pulver: You’ve been killing me with f***ing Hitler’s gun this whole time?! Pam: It was stolen by an American serviceman in 1945. Roy Pulver: Jesus Christ! What is wrong with you? Pam: Fast forward to the present day. And it cost me a very pretty penny. Roy Pulver: I didn’t think this could get any worse. And it has.
Roy Pulver: Who sent you? Pam: Wouldn’t you like to know? Roy Pulver: Hint-hint? Pam: Never. Are you going to kill me now? Roy Pulver: No, Pam. I’m going to shoot you. [he shoots her] Roy Pulver: That’s for the Jews. Those too.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] Jemma put me here on purpose. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. There’s got to be a good reason. S**t, there’s got to be a great one. But she’s gone. I can’t get back far enough to reach her. So none of this matters now. There’s only one real piece of business left. Revenge.
Roy Pulver: [narrating, referring to Ventor] I’m guessing the Big Boss Man has a penthouse view, but I’m about sick to death of all the sneaky stealth “behind the scenes” bulls**t. Let’s go old-school and just kick the f***ing front door down.
Roy Pulver: [as Brett is pointing his gun at him] I can do this all day, d**k.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] So do I do a Butch and Sundance blaze of glory bit here? No. [puts his gun to his head] Roy Pulver: Never say die. [shoots himself]
Guan Yin: [to Roy] Someone’s been the busiest little beaver.
Roy Pulver: [referring to her sword] What are you going to do with that? Guan Yin: I was thinking about f***ing you up. Roy Pulver: Remember in Raiders, that a**hole who was twirling the sword around and around, thinking he was all cool and s**t? Indy just shot him, because he was exhausted, and impatient, and just couldn’t take the bulls**t any more. You remember that? Guan Yin: Yeah. [he shoots at Guan Yin, but it’s blank] Roy Pulver: F***!
Roy Pulver: [narrating] Something you might not know about getting killed with a sword. With the exception of attempt number fifteen, getting killed with a sword hurts worse than a gunshot. Another lesser known fact about swords. They hurt a hell of a lot more coming out. Guan Yin: [as she kills Roy with her sword] Fun fact. Harrison Ford had the s**ts, and that’s why he shot that guy.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] Ventor. The man who killed Jemma. Same bozo that’s had me killed a hundred and fifty f***ing times.
Colonel Clive Ventor: Captain, as first impressions go, this is truly stand-out stuff. How you were able to despatch the elite level of high-speed professionals we threw at you, is really remarkable. You should be pleased with the effort, regardless of its outcome. As someone who bears the same fraternal scars of battle, I hope that this defeat, however bitter, holds some solace. Roy Pulver: [narrating] He must have that bulls**t memorized, because it’s word for f***ing word the same, every single f***ing time.
Colonel Clive Ventor: All the men I’ve watched die and lain to rest, in their multitudes, I see a singularity. It’s in the eyes. Their gaze is identical in this moment. Remorse. Regret. “What could I have done? What didn’t I do?” All our best intentions left to bleed out with the rest of us. But what if we could remake our world whole, and erase our mistakes? What if the ability to rewrite history was real?
Roy Pulver: [narrating] Wait a minute. I’ve never lived past this point, so all this crap is new. Colonel Clive Ventor: In whose hands would you entrust a tool as powerful as the Osiris Spindle? I have your answer, Captain. Mine. A man brought to heel by the brunt of human misery. A man who understands, as you do, the horrors of war. Who better to oversee and implement such a tool? Exactly.
Colonel Clive Ventor: Blood on your hands, is what you wanted when you came here, Captain. And blood is what you have. Just not mine. [he decapitates Roy with Guan Yin’s sword]
Colonel Clive Ventor: Is it a Katana? Guan Yin: Katana? That’s Japanese. It’s a Chinese sword. Colonel Clive Ventor: Let’s not make this about race. It’s a sword.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] I know three things now. One, I’m going to f*** that guy up next time I see him. Two, whatever I’m stuck in is called The Osiris Spindle. And three, Ventor has no idea that it’s working. That somehow, Jemma put me inside this thing and started it up. But why?
Roy Pulver: [reading from the book Jemma sent him] She resurrected her dead husband, Osiris. Osiris became Lord of the Dead and the Afterlife. I’m Osiris.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] Jemma put me in the Spindle to stop them. To stop Ventor. She needs me to keep repeating this day until I do She had faith. Son of a b**ch, she still believed in me. She knew I could beat them.
Roy Pulver: I need to learn how to fight with a sword. Dai Feng: There is something intriguing about you that I like. I’m flying home to Shanghai in the morning. I would only have a day. Roy Pulver: I think we can get a lot done in a day.
Dai Feng: It is the one who wields it that makes it a weapon, Roy. That sword is no more an extension of you than a set of car keys. In lesser hands, the Jian blade is just a flimsy piece of forged steel. But within the most determined grip, and under the keenest eyes, it becomes a weapon of annihilation.
Guan Yin: You’re not really going to fight with a sword, are you? I do like your confidence. Roy Pulver: Normally I’m a little more chatty. I do have one thing to say. I think it will wait. Guan Yin: S**t’s about to get steel.
Roy Pulver: [as he impales Guan Yin with his sword] What I wanted to say was, “I am Roy. And Roy has done this.”
Colonel Clive Ventor: The Spindle. She activated it. Roy Pulver: Jemma. She put me inside, pal. She put me inside to stop you. Then you killed her. Because she knew what you were, Ventor. A wannabe dictator, bent on a worldwide re-do. Colonel Clive Ventor: F***ing liberals.
Colonel Clive Ventor: Before she launched her little Hail Mary, did she bother to mention that a Spindle reaction, if maintained too long, can destroy the entire planet? Roy Pulver: Oh, don’t worry, d**khead. If the world comes to an end, you won’t be around to see it.
Roy Pulver: The past is the past, Ventor. It’s designed to be left behind. We live and we learn from it. Colonel Clive Ventor: And this from an absentee husband and a failed father. I would have thought you’d have more than a passing interest in re-doing things.
Roy Pulver: [narrating, after he sees Joe’s been killed] And there it is. The end of the world. Why not? Mine’s already over. I can feel it. Not just death. Being unraveled, every part of me splits, and splits again, along with everything else. There’s nowhere left to run and the one person who can help is dead. So what if I avenged her? I’m the one that killed her. Not Ventor, me. I did it. I killed her when I ran from our relationship. I killed her when I ran from raising our son. I killed her when I didn’t call her back. I’m the reason she’s gone. I’m the reason Joe’s gone. I am the reason the world ends. What the hell is the point? Why the hell should I even bother trying? Nothing will ever matter again. Not when you’ve lost everything you’ve loved. Not when you’re responsible for the loss of all the human life as we know it. Nice job, a**hole.
Roy Pulver: [narrating] So this is it then. This is it, huh? Are you just going to feel sorry for yourself, forever? Day in, day out? You’re not going to do a goddamn thing? Even if there isn’t a goddamn thing you can do? No. You are. You’re going to do something. Time means nothing now. It’s no longer counting against you. You never got to know your son. So if that’s all that’s left, it’s more than you ever deserved.
Roy Pulver: [narrating, referring to Joe] All the years of this that I missed. I want it all back. He has Jemma’s looks, her smarts, her sense of humor. Thank God. Then I see that kid laugh, and I see myself. Just a flash. I see my own face, smiling back at me. Breaks my heart.
Roy Pulver: [narrating, referring to Joe] I could do this forever. And I just might. We’ve ended this day, just like this over a dozen times now. It never gets old. I like that he’s sound asleep when it all ends. I like that he never stirs once. I want to tell him that I’m his father, like I did before, but I’m scared. I’m scared he won’t look at me that way again, and I won’t see what I saw in his eyes. So I say nothing.
Brett: We can’t get the Osiris Spindle to function. Whatever she did started a chain reaction that we can’t control. She sabotaged it somehow, and it’s not responding. Colonel Clive Ventor: [to Roy] You son of a b**ch. The Spindle is working. It’s you. She made you the missing mass. Otherwise, how could you have broken into this facility?
Roy Pulver: [narrating] Jemma is the only one who can stop this, and you have at least fourteen minutes to reach her. What the hell. Here we go!
Jemma Wells: You came for me. You did it. You came for me. How many times did it take? Roy Pulver: Just one.
Roy Pulver: How do I stop this, Jemma? Jemma Wells: It’s not about stopping, Roy. It’s about restarting.
Jemma Wells: It means, you have to enter the Spindle’s core, then, theoretically the time-space continuum should reset and resume. Roy Pulver: Theoretically? Jemma Wells: I don’t know. I honestly don’t, Roy. I mean, this whole thing’s just so cobbled together. I was just trying to stop Ventor. I didn’t even know it worked until you showed up.
Jemma Wells: You have to remember, I just saw you yesterday. Roy Pulver: And I haven’t seen you in forever. Jemma Wells: I didn’t know what else to do, where else to turn. I just knew the man you were, Roy. I know the man you are, but I don’t know what will happen to you if you go in there. Roy Pulver: I know what happens if I don’t.
Jemma Wells: You saw it? The end of the world? Roy Pulver: Yeah. Jemma Wells: What’s it like? Roy Pulver: It was everything you imagine it to be, only a million times worse.
Roy Pulver: Will it go forward? If I walk through this thing, is it going to reset? Are you and Joe going to be safe? Jemma Wells: If you return your mass to the core, it should. You may not make it. You may cease to be. Roy Pulver: Well, then, give me a kiss, and tell me you love me. [they kiss] Jemma Wells: I love you. Roy Pulver: Wait for me, huh? Jemma Wells: I will. Roy Pulver: What the hell. Here we go. [he steps into Spindle]
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