Now I have to preface this by saying that I'm not really a big fan of Cruise, but the main character Cage (played by Cruise) is what won me over to this movie. Cage starts out as pretty much of a complete a**hole. This might not be what you think turns you on to a movie, but take away all the aliens and CGI and this turns out to be a pretty straightforward redemption story. It's a solid story, told well, and the thing about it is, Cage has to really work for his redemption. I mean really work for it, so by the end of the movie it’s very clear he’s grown and learned and come out of this a completely, believably changed person.
I loved this because it isn't often Hollywood give us such flawed heroes. I’m not talking about the “bad boy with a heart of gold” kind of character that usually gets passed off as a flawed hero, I’m talking the “jerk who gets his head bit off first in a Jurassic Park movie” kind of character. With such a difficult road to redemption, and whatever else happens throughout the film, whatever other flaws I could point to, that, for me, made it worthwhile.
Let's not forget about Emily Blunt either, the kick-ass heroine who happens to be the poster girl for the war against the aliens. She's not just there as a prize for the hero. Or if she is, it’s really ambiguous. She stands up on her own merits, which is a nice change of pace for a summer film, or any film for that matter.
I've also got to say that I thought Bill Paxton was absolutely hilarious as Master Sgt. Farrel. He's certainly come a long way from Pvt. Hudson, but is no less amusing.
So overall a recommendation to see this summer.