Another time travel film. Except this was based on a Japanese novel titled "All you need is kill" and then Americanized. I can summarise this as Groundhog Day meets Gears of War.
Short summary. Humanity is under attack by aliens and losing badly. Their hope lies in a drastic Invasion of Normandy like scenario where they land on the shores of the alien homebase and then try to sweep inwards. Tom Cruise is railroaded into the war. On the day of the landing, it's a slaughterhouse as the humans get wiped out as somehow, the aliens knew they were coming. Before he dies, Tom Cruise manages to kill an extremely large specimen; known as an Alpha. Then he basically becomes Bill Murray in Groundhog day, forced to repeat his day and death over and over again. But in that, lies the key to their victory. Basically humans win in the end by killing the alien overlord.
Okay, so there were certain things I liked and disliked about this film. The first part with Tom Cruise as a Major and how he ended up being railroaded into becoming a grunt was really unnecessary I feel. Why couldn't he just have been a normal soldier in the first place? Also, that Scottish guy who railroaded him is a major ass. Granted, Tom shouldn't have tried to blackmail him in the first place, but he basically sent Tom out as cannon fodder in retaliation.
The suits were kinda cool and kinda clunky as well. They just seem like they would be somewhat unwieldy to use and I'm more amazed they don't have more streamlined suits like HALO or Gears of War. I will have to say I prefer the japanese version of the suits though, which are a lot more futurish looking.
The timetravel science in this film is fairly BS but then again, it's a time travel fiction story so really, what was I expecting? But the premise is that because Tom killed an Alpha before he died the first time and got bathed in its blood, he got the power to reset time from the blood of the Alphas. Which is also how the aliens keep winning, because everytime the Alphas die, they reset time and then go about trying to win. At which point, you'd actually have 2 active parties continually resetting time and no one would win at all.
The film is fairly montage based, basically filled with clips of Tom trying out different things in the Invasion and seeing if it works. Some are pretty cool, like Emily Blunt shooting him in the head repeatedly to reset the day because she; as a past looper, knows that how it works. Some seem to take way too long.
Things that didn't really make too much sense to me is why Tom Cruise felt the need to go at this alone. He was basically trying to take out the aliens by himself most of the time, and with the help of Emily but why not create an army of super Time Soldiers? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who thinks this way. If I need to kill an Alpha to do it; and those are pretty rare but since I'm on infinite reloops anyway, then hell yeah, I'm going to kill an Alpha to do it. I would just make multiple Time Soldiers who would then get as good at killing aliens as Tom and Emily were.
Also, the part at the farmhouse where he abandons Emily saying that there was no way for her to survive past this point? That made no sense considering that he gets past that checkpoint by simply asking for extra battery for his power armor (so it would keep working until the farmhouse and he wouldn't have to abandon it earlier) and extra ammo. WTF can he not get her to do the same thing?!?! The only reason they were getting slaughtered was because their power armor ran out of juice and they had to walk in without armor.
Anyway, overall, I find this to be an okay film. It's not like the science was as BS as Pacific Rims, it was also a lot better than Transcendence or even Oblivion. However, it does tend to feel too long at certain places and it probably can use trimming down. Probably about 20 mins too long imo.
Now for the difference between the Japanese LN and the American film. Well, in the LN, the main character is obviously Japanese. There isn't any BS about being railroaded, instead he's a normal private and the next day is his first engagement. He still dies in it but he kills the alien that lets him loop. The aliens are also totally different in the LN. Humanity isn't going out for a big push, instead they're fighting small battles. Rita is even more badass in the LN (she kills everything instead of dying all the time). The characters in the LN use melee weapons to kill the aliens instead of guns. The heroes do not win the aliens at the end of the LN. Instead, Rita dies permanently (and for a VERY stupid reason as well.) I mean, it's a fairly short LN and there's even a manga out for it which ends at 17 chapters, which is pretty damn short. Overall, it's hard to say which I prefer. I definitely like the looks of the suit from the Japanese LN but the plots are both equal amounts of BSscience. But in the end, I'd probably take the story with the happy ending.