Two straight Fridays, I watch something starring Tom Cruise and directed by Doug Liman, and two straight Fridays, I am blown away!
Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers may be a popular way to describe this picture in quick form, but it really sells the whole thing short. Yes, Cruise’s William Cage relives the same day over and over and must figure out a way to stop it, but the stakes are much higher, it’s incredibly intense and the combination of visual effects and action set pieces is marvelous. Not to mention, the script is smart, the two leads are more than up to the task of carrying the weight, and Liman finds ways to make the repetitive parts of the story fresh, as opposed to an action-fused montage. And those kick-ass effects take a backseat to the story. How’s that, for once?!
Some action films have been compared to video games, for various reasons. So what about one where the central story feels like a video game, where the main character can re-spawn every time he dies? It may sound too gimmicky on paper, but this film achieves a great balance of thrills, heart and dark humor, while moving along at a great pace. It’s two hours that felt, to me, like one. Sure, you could pick holes in it and ruin the fun, but if you’re willing to buy into an alien invasion, suspension of disbelief shouldn’t be an issue.
I highly recommend checking this out if you haven’t seen it!