2013 science fiction movie

Rating: 12/20

Plot: Following an invasion where aliens destroyed most of the moon and forced us to use our nuclear weapons, a guy and the partner he also happens to be screwing keep drones operational and make sure the fiendish extraterrestrial Scavs keep out of their business. Haunting visions and the arrival of some humans have the guy questioning everything he's been told.

I like Tom Cruise, and I thought this movie looked really good. Cruise is probably at his best when his character is the type of action hero who can't quite figure out what's going on around him. His charm can drive a movie like the charm of no other current actor or actress. Visually, this is frequently stunning. You get dystopian shots of famous landmarks in various states of decay, and all the flying things are really well done. In fact, the science-fiction stuff blends in with the actual imagery as well as I think I've ever seen it blend before. The action sequences don't give you anything new, but the explosions and spaceship/drone chase sequences are exciting enough.

Unfortunately, the story really lets this one down. It's convoluted, a little confusing, and ultimately pretty boring. The story is sort of told like any similar sci-fi movie from the last decade and a half or so, but it's just not told as well or as coherently. A romantic excursion is lame, a winning move is contrived, and a plot twist is more strange than it is coherent.

I did like Morgan Freeman's character, and I should note that he does get to stand up quite a bit in this movie. He also gets some cool shades and what I think was a cape. So that's something.

I think there's an obvious nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey here (maybe even two or three), but I also thought this alluded to Wall-E.

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