What a waste of $8.50! For the same price of two frappuchinos, I would have quenched my thirst, my sweet tooth, kept money from reaching the grubby little girly hands of Tom Cruise AND, by virtue of a satisfying urination, gotten a better ending.
It's a summer movie, chock full of loud sound effects and visual treats. The plot - aliens attack, eat humans, and Tom Cruise and his clan want to make it from New York to Boston where Tom's ex-wife (no, not Nicole Kidman) is staying with her family. The movie's special effects range from below average to amazing. Tom Cruise isn't terribly annoying in this role, though Dakota Fanning's going to soon have the market cornered on creepy blonde girl roles. Tim Robbins plays a creepy resistance fighter who takes more than a passing interest on young Mizz Fanning. Tom's angry teenage son should have been vaporized when the division of M1A Abrams Battle Tanks next to him gets vaporized, but he miraculously survives when trained Soldiers next to him die.
The worst part of the movie, though, is Morgan Freeman, and that is a phrase I never thought I'd write. He plays the part of narrator, reading the first paragraph of the book and the last paragraph, and nothing in the middle. His voice helps set the tone for the movie - emotionally gripping, giving a sense of the impending doom - and then truncates a horribly short ending with a mere voice over. The ending is the worst thing about this movie - after two hours of gut-wrenching ass-clenching action, within three minutes, the aliens suddenly get sick and die, and Tom's former in-laws appear from their Back Bay brownstone looking marvelous and rich. Roll credits.
Apparently, according to Hollywood, aliens don't read up on the planets they're about to destroy. In this movie, they have the technology to blast anything and everything, and eat us humanfolk up real good. But they didn't count on bacteria, fungi and molds and other primative life forms that exist in our bodies and air. These aliens have the ability to break through dimensions and go from one end of the galaxy to another, but they can't swing by CVS and pick up some Glade Antibacterial Wipes. Those dumb aliens in Signs - they're allergic to water, so they invade a planet that's 75% covered in water, and eat humans who are over 85% water. Stupid damned creatures - wear some Gore-Tex, slap some Rain-X on the mothership, and try that invasion again, Zoltar! And those bastards in Independence Day didn't anticipate Jeff Goldblum and the power of a Mac laptop. These aliens need to go to a Suze Orman seminar, learn how to plan.
So, in summary, Tom's weird in real life, the aliens are dumb, and the ending sucks more than a porn star trying to pay for a heroin habit. Otherwise, a great movie! Two out of a possible Six Whammies.