Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

Get out your exo-suits and alien blood, we're reviewing Edge of Tomorrow!

Officer Cage (Tom Cruise) tries to escape filming the war effort on the front lines, but ends up getting railroaded into fighting on the front lines instead. After killing one of the creatures, he finds out that he's living the same day over and over each time he dies. With the help of war hero Rita (Emily Blunt) who's been through this before, can he find a way to win the war and break the chain?

So hey, Edge of Tomorrow is a pretty fun sci-fi action adventure movie.

But, uh – that's pretty much it?

I'm struggling to say more about it. It's basically Groundhog Day but with aliens and robot suits and Tom Cruise instead of Bill Murray. And not to say Tom Cruise is ill-suited (but really, going from Murray is a downgrade). In fact, he's perfect for the role because he plays an unlikable jerk that eventually becomes this every-man who's good at everything. I like to feel that all those scenes of Tom Cruise being tired of living days over and over are really metaphors of him being tired of playing the same movie hero over and over. This actually has a great cast, with the heavy lifting going to Cruise and Blunt, who both take on their roles with gusto. And while it doesn't pass the Bechdel Test, I like that the female character is the strong perfect soldier who has to teach the guy everything, and also gets really annoyed whenever he tries to save her. There's also some great acting from Brendan Gleeson and Bill Paxton. There's not a huge amount of diversity here, which is disappointing, but par for the course in summer action movies. There's some diversity in the background, but still overly white and male for a future movie.

I really enjoy the designs of the alien monster things as these ever-shifting, constantly-moving behemoths. They remind me a lot of aliens you'd shoot in a videogame. And the robot suits are pretty cool because they can punch stuff real good and extend guns to shoot pew-pew missiles and stuff. That's neat. I'll be the one-millionth person to mention this, but it does get the videogame dynamic down really well. It's not just that he has to live each day over and over, but he has to get a certain series of events juuuuust right to continue, and if he messes up on just one little thing, he has to start all over again from the very beginning, hoping he gets it all right the next time. It's like the worst kind of a really hardcore platformer where you have to get the jumps just right or risk starting the whole game over. (Anyone remember The Impossible Game?) It's also hilarious to see him die and get shot by Emily Blunt constantly. This is the most you'll laugh at Cruise's expense since his role in Tropic Thunder. Although one of the things he keeps doing is constantly knowing everyone's past, and while the film moves at a nice pace, I would have liked to see one or two scenes in which Cruise is shooting the shit with random people and then offing himself right after.

The action is really well done and a ton of fun to watch. It definitely looks like the kind of videogame you'd want to play. The music isn't as good or unique as his last Sci-Fi film, Oblivion, but I'd say this movie seems much more original with a much simpler premise. It's a fun action sci-fi movie that you'll get a kick out of. There's not much more to say than that but go out and see it!

THE GOOD: Cool premise, great action, great cast and good acting, Tom Cruise used well, badass female character, fun sci-fi premise.

THE BAD: Not a lot of diversity in main characters, no Bill Murray, music's not great, nothing outstanding.

THE VERDICT: $$$$ It's a great fun sci-fi action film! I don't think it will redefine any genres in any way but hey it's hecka amusing, go see it.

MOVIES LIKE IT: Oblivion, Groundhog Day, Run Lola Run, Source Code

ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: The second time he gets rebooted, he's still getting reacquainted to the effect, but he saw Rita die the first time, so this time he takes a slug for her. There's a hole in his chest. As he's dying, she takes his battery and walks away. And then he dies. "Clearly, this is the person I should keep saving," he must think to himself.

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