I actually didn't even get into the heart of the story. That's just the basic setup. I didn't want to get into it because I loved the twists and turns this story takes. It goes in places you would never expect, especially from the trailer... which really gives away almost nothing of the story. Hell, I didn't even know any of these other people were in the movie. Just seeing Dano and Daniels appear threw me (forgive me)... for a loop. I'd seen the trailer a dozen times, and this is the most blind I've ever felt in a theatrical viewing of a film. So perhaps that had a lot to do with my reaction.
The story itself is great. It's not just a chase story as the trailer would have you assume. That's there, but it's certainly not what drives the film. I mean, I don't believe Bruce Willis even shows up for about 30-45 minutes into the movie. It takes its time and sets up the world and the characters and the situations they're in. And even when everything starts going down, it still takes its time keeping you invested in the drama and the characters rather than relying solely on adrenaline and action. And I can honestly say that I had no idea how this movie was going to end. There were a number of different ways that came to mind, and any of them seemed they could happen. But the one it did go with was the best option for the film.
The acting is really good all around, but the one who stole the show was Pierce Gagnon. "Who?" you ask. He's a real young kid that plays Emily Blunt's son in the movie. He was so good it was almost creepy. I mean, this kid is star-bound; easily the best child acting I've seen in a long time. For such a young age to pull off what he had to was insane to watch.
One of the big things I love about the film is that its characters and their situations and the world they live in are so rich and complex. I don't mean Primer complex or anything. It has nothing to do with the time travel. All of that actually (mostly) makes sense. The world, for instance, is so incredibly detailed. From how buildings look in the background to details on a truck to... anything, really. It seems everything has a purpose and the filmmakers could tell you a story for every little visual detail in the film--why something looks or works the way it does, even if the film never gets into it. And then the characters are amazingly well done. Every character is both a good and a bad guy. You understand where each one is coming from. You want everyone to succeed and fail because you know what it means if they succeed or fail. But you want them to anyway. The movie makes you feel for all of these people, and there's no real clear hero or villain/good vs. evil going on here. It just so happens that, for instance, for one character's heartfelt mission to succeed, it means another's must fail and vice versa, etc. etc.
Do I still have a couple questions? Yeah. But as far as I'm aware, this is one of the most well-crafted sci-fi/time travel dramas in years (and it is more than just time travel... there's a whole sci-fi/fantasy element to it, as well with some mutant/telekinesis stuff). Of this writing, I can say it's going to end up in my Top 5 of the year, which is funny considering I wasn't hyped about it at all going into it. It was just very fresh and original and incredibly well done all around.
Royale With Cheese