Twin-brother directors Josh and Jonathan Baker don’t seem to know whether they are making a sci-fi, action or drama flick, but what they are sure of is that good acting will help audiences enjoy the ride. While you might come to see the disparate melding of genres, you’ll be glad you stayed for James Franco’s devilishly cheeky grin and the surprisingly refreshing performances by Jack Reynor (Jimmy) and newcomer Myles Truitt (Eli). Playing into some tight family dynamics throughout the movie, both actors inspire confidence, in scenes alone and together. Reynor’s eyes encourage sympathy and Truitt shines in a subtly strong and well-written performance. Zoe Kravitz also appears as a bright spot in the film, though underused considering her talent.
While the movie has some UFO-sized plot holes, a very well hidden cameo and surprise reveal toward the end almost makes up for it. I felt some of the setup for a sequel, or just a poor way to end a one-off franchise, came a bit too late, you should still see the movie for the excitement generated near the end. Some events in the movie are less realistic, and I’m not referring to the science fiction elements here; and, entirely way too much time is spent focusing on one specific weapon. Yet, I was so psyched at what Eli might have in store for him, in both his fictional life and possibly a sequel, that I would go see it – and before summer officially ends so as to save yourself any spoilers!