By Jeffrey (Houston)


I can’t tell if this movie is trying to get me to enlist, join the church of scientology, or watch more anime with more tentacles in it. Hook is important to a story. Movies do that in all sorts of ways: big-name actors press and hype, special effects, gimmicks of directing, but it’s still story-telling. This movie didn’t particularly hook me at any moment, I just committed to watching it. People commit and we expect a return on that commitment. Maybe bad movies are responsible for the high divorce rate by which we are taught that what happens in the long run doesn’t matter. But here we go. The beginning wherein Tom Cruise is forced into the front lines felt like he was stuck in a bad dream. I thought the shallow dialogue, the fast pace, and the lack of realism was for me to feel that way. He makes his hail-Mary threat to the general and then he runs. Literally runs, so I think, it’s definitely a nightmare scenario where you don’t behave rationally. Nope. It was ‘real’ so I’m left stumbling with that trying and hoping for the movie to tie it together. Then we see some, and for some reason people seemed to be impressed, generic aliens attack. They’ve got the technology to get to our planet but somehow we’re fighting them on the beaches of Normandy. He wakes up again, and we’re left wondering how and why and we get an explanation that ‘they’ can control time and because of the ‘alphas’ so can Tom Cruise, sorta. And on and on.

At first six soldiers in exo-squad gear can’t take down one, and later Tom Cruise kills one with a fire-axe no problem. Later with a shot-gun, sans Exo-gear. So it’s that kind of action. Realism…true science fiction element…both gone. No new concepts, not even a new spin on an old one. It goes on, Tom Cruise figures it out, and he dies once and for all. Except some of that blue stuff from the mother-ship-brain touches his face and somehow he’s brought back to before he was enlisted, and even more strangely, everyone is saluting him like they knew what happened except he finds the movie’s heart throb doing yoga push-ups like the first time and has no idea what’s going on. He smiles. Pop music and credits roll. What?!

The CGI did not impress, nor did any concept of this movie. My question is, why did they make any of this movie into live-action? Why not just CGI Tom Cruise so that we know it’s Tom Cruise and Bill Paxton and that guy from Braveheart? Avatar did it, and they made billions. Didn’t like that movie either.

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