An interesting concept is largely flattened by numerous large dumps of blatant exposition, heavy-handed injections of theological themes (see the sappy wrap-up) and rushed ruminations on free will and the future that are anything but subtle. Still, real suspense can still be found in spite of the cheesiness (see the door-to-door climax) and the (thin) romance has its moments of charm (Damon and Blunt have good rapport) and beauty (see the touching kiss in the face of their enemies at the end).
Excellent camerawork, soundscapes (the mournful recurring theme is a nice addition), and acting (see brilliant Blunt’s brutal birthing escapade), with effective family drama underlying the tense horror (see the shocking pre-title climax). Normally that’d be plenty to distract me from any plot/concept holes, but in this case they’re too frequent and glaring (like, you literally just showed me a newspaper clipping saying the monsters are indestructable and now they just killed one with a gun).
The surrogate family schtick is a little contrived, but mostly enjoyable (aside from the inevitable romance that didn’t feel quite right in its huge age gap), thanks to a great set of amusingly contrasting characters played with charm and wit by the three leads (Freeman’s devilish bad guy is great as well). A simple on-the-run romp plot brings lots of slapstick laughs in addition to a delightful thread of dark comedy surrounding the central “hitman with a heart” and his family business.
The incredible technical aspects (consistently unique and beautiful camerawork with some stunning bird’s eye views, a marvelous use of sound, and two particularly gut-wrenching themes–one dark, one mournful–all impeccably edited–see the captivating convoy journey into Mexico) and solid, subtle acting only make the poorly written script (details are left out and questions arise at every plot turn) all the more frustrating. It’s hard to get engaged when the stakes are constantly unclear.
An engaging aliens vs. humans action movie with a time-travel twist, giving it a more intelligent feel–and a fresher feeling plot–than most of its summer action-blockbuster kind. Unfortunately, the emotional ramifications of the film’s unique premise on Cage and Rita’s relationship, while touched on a few times throughout the film, are discarded in a final scene that takes the easy way out. All told though, with its great action and good turns by Cruise and Blunt, this is still a great film.
Beautiful and authentic performances from Blunt, Duplass, and DeWitt combine with refreshingly natural dialogue (thanks to a largely improvised script and actors up to the task) and a simple, yet affecting plot to make a truly heartwarming film. Nothing flashy, just a straight-forward character-driven drama with dashes of romance and consistent sprinkles of charming comedy. The typical romantic storyline here is given a new twist that results in an odd yet happy ending for this endearing flick.