I liked it; of course it was derivative, I’m not sure what isn’t any more. The easily detected SF visual vocabulary can be seen in the Hal/BSG/Terminator red machine eyes, the echoes of Beneath the Planet of the Apes and, rather more cheekily, that old doppelgänger trope. But I enjoyed the high-gloss, European, SciFi art influenced look of the thing, with echoes of Foss, Giraud etc… I loved the cold, techie buildings, machines and monochromatic clothes. The landscape was blasted and apocalyptic in a new way that I hadn’t seen before and, given the sheer volume of Icelandic names in the end-credits, I wasn’t surprised to learn that this had been partly filmed in that same, dry, sculpted, alien country.
The only bug in the ointment for me was the annoying Hollywood habit of talking about sports in action movies. I really couldn’t give a flying fig’s fandango who won what “in the bottom of the” whatever. I think, just to get even, in the next Bond film we should have Daniel Craig blahing on for at least ten minutes straight with a retelling of some particularly boring piece of cricket history. See how that squares with the US test audience.
There is a bit of an obvious twist but, in a nutshell, it’s a fun ride, especially in the cool flittery, dragonfly “bubble-ship” that Tom Cruise pilots, which is right up there with Spock’s jellyfish ship and is the real star of the movie. Angela Riseborough is also perfect as Cruise’s slightly robotic companion. Another nice touch was including that Wyeth painting in the movie, a painting that has captivated me since childhood and only last year did I learn the literal truth behind it.