In the not-too-distant future Earth has been invaded by aliens called “mimics,” which is odd, because they don’t actually seem to mimic anything. In fact, they’re pretty original as aliens go, most of them looking like about a hundred flailing, whip-like tentacles knotted together.
The invaders have taken over pretty much all of Europe, though humans still control the other continents and Great Britain for now and are fighting back.
The protagonist — he’s no hero, at least at the outset — is an American PR officer with no combat training who is suddenly forced to take part in a D-Day-like invasion, during which he gets caught in a time loop, reliving the day over and over again, something we’ve all seen before, but this time with a science fictional explanation of sorts.
I hadn’t read much about the film before seeing it, so I didn’t recognize the lead actor. He looked familiar, and I kept thinking he looked like an aging version of Tom Cruise, but it wasn’t until I saw the end credits that I discovered there’s a reason for that. The heroine is played by always appealing Emily Blunt.
It’s not a great film, and much of it consists of war-movie clichés combined with computer-generated action scenes, but it does have the virtue of being actual sf, like something we might have read in the 1950s or 60s, so it’s a fair amount more interesting than the average special effects shoot-’em-up. And if you can’t stand the star, the film has the added virtue of letting you watch him get killed over and over again in different interesting ways.