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This is nothing too great and nothing too original either but it simply remains one capably made movie, for the mainstream audience to enjoy.

The more hardened science-fiction movie lover can nitpick this movie to death really. And yes, I also had more than just a few problems with this movie but I simply took this movie for what it was and I also have to say that for a more mainstream type of audience, this is a wonderful big budget science-fiction adventure. It's like the movie "Moon", only with a much bigger budget and far more spectacle involved.

It's as if the film-makers initially wanted to go for a more 'quiet' and realistic, subtle approach but somewhere during production it got out of hand- and especially once Tom Cruise got himself involved, the studio interfered and demanded that the movie would have to feature some more and bigger action in it. Really, when you look back at it you really have to say that the movie its story didn't need most of the action that was in it. Not that it feels terribly out of place, or ever takes you out of the movie but I still strongly believe I would have liked this movie better without all of the action and explosions and such. A true science-fiction movie, with the emphasis on the science, instead of the fiction, as now is the case.

Like I said, this movie is like "Moon", in the sense that it's about a working man in space (or well, somewhere high in the Earth's atmosphere in this case), working for the 'big boss', who slowly starts to learn about his own true identity. But having said that; this movie is being like a ton of other science-fictions as well. It isn't as original or even clever as it likes to present itself (it confuses you, rather than ever truly trying to surprise or impress you with its writing) but like I also said before, this isn't going to bother the more average movie goer. They probably still be surprised at some of the movie its twists and the approach it's taking with its story and some of its characters at times. In in that regard, this also truly is far from the worst science- fiction movie to have come out in recent years. As a matter of fact, it took me back to the days when a new science-fiction movie was still something special and impressed you with its look and approach. And despite everything, I still do admire this movie for its look and approach! It isn't just your typical, average Tom Cruise vehicle and it actually keeps on challenging the viewers with its story. Please don't watch this movie expecting to get some brainless, overblown, science-fiction action flick, or you may end up feeling disappointed with this movie.

Still, at the same time the movie is handling its story poorly at times. Quite poorly to be frank. It does a poor job at handling certain plot lines and characters. You feel that the Morgan Freeman character and his band of misfits for instance should have played a much bigger part- that also was far more important for the movie. After all, this is where the TRUE story kicks in, without spoiling too much about it. They however don't show up until the movie is halfway done already and it almost gets handled like some sort of afterthought. The emphasis never gets put on any other storyline but the one for the Tom Cruise character, even while clearly much bigger and more important things are happening around him. But also the Tom Cruise character himself doesn't really get handled in a very good and effective way. Tom Cruise is a great actor but his character in this movie isn't exactly a very memorable one. You feel that the movie should have given his character and some of the plot lines some more depth, also in order to truly feel involved with it. Basically everything in this movie remains underdeveloped and in some regards it truly feels too shallow as a movie, as if it also didn't want you to feel for any of its characters. Maybe it all was intentional, to give the movie deliberately a sort of sterile feeling but anyway, it doesn't work out all that pleasant or effective for this particular movie.

Besides, the pacing seems a bit off at times. Sometimes it's too slow for its own good, while at others it glosses over a whole bunch of other stuff that seem important but never get handled as such by the actual movie.

Overall, I still have more positive than negative feelings toward this movie movie, so it definitely did a lot of things right, despite all criticism. It was an enjoyable movie to watch and even during the movie its slower moments I still remained interested in it, at all times. Despite not being the most original science-fiction movie out there, story- and concept-wise, you still don't know what is going to happen next and are anxious to find out.

It of course also is a great looking movie, which should come as no surprise, seeing how much it cost to make. I'm not always too impressed with movies that rely heavily on computer effects but I just can't say anything negative about this movie its look or effects. I simply liked it and was enthralled with the movie its world and its overall look. And another thing I also would like to mention; I liked the movie its sound effects! It's something that perhaps is a bit underrated within the science-fiction genre at times but good and original sound effects can truly help to create a world- and sometimes even universe of its own.

So, some negative and some positive things to say about this movie but overall I strongly do feel that this is a perfectly watchable science-fiction flick for the more mainstream audience, as long as they know what they are in for.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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