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Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

What if it was Neo inside that Armored Personnel Unit?

The Matrix Revolutions meets Groundhog Day

Edge Tomorrow movie poster

Fighting Today’s war yesterday

Who and What? Tom Cruise plays a reluctant soldier, accidentally gifted with the ability to leap backwards in time. This allows him to fight against an alien invasion and repeat the most important battle over and over again until he gets it right.

Well, yeah, it’s a Tom Cruise movie so you know to expect a couple of things. One; he will be special, the greatest or the last and two; the movie will be about him and there won’t be many scenes without him in front of the camera. Thankfully, Tom Cruise still has his mojo maverick and shines in a movie whose premise affords us tons of action. Is it any good? Hells yeah.

The original story is based on a Japanese short story called All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. His property has the proper props and is propped with more profitable and palatable protagonists. Yes, this is the big screen western realization of his concept(s). And it’s a wonderful plot that allows us to witness the intense action of a futuristic war without any of that boring stuff like plot or character development. As movies and video games merge closer and closer together, it’s movies like this that blur the lines between CGI cut scenes and twitch-flicks. The movie does pause in a few places to add humor, wit and a bit of cleverness. A lot of it will be familiar, but fun and enjoyable.

The Angel needs you

The Angel needs you

Repeating Appearances

 

With so little time and focus to develop side characters, it’s important (Really, it’s the main reason) to cast deep into the actor pool and get characters that are familiar to you already. Emily Blunt plays Rita “The Angel of Versailles” or the Full Metal — eh, you’ll see in the movie. A friend asked “Is she hot?”, well no, she’s not playing for sexy (thank goodness), but has a character worthy of a starring role (no, we can’t show a woman saving the day in the cinema yet) and her story would make the perfect material for a video game. It’s Lara levels of lethal. Bill Paxton supports the war effort as Sergeant Farell -so imagine private Hudson from Aliens making it back home. It’s as if screenplay writers, Christopher McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth [I wonder if that’s a pseudonym] got the casting choices right from their sidebar notes.

Emily Blunt image

The Angel of Versailles

Director Doug Liman: Bourne Identity, Ultimatum and Supremacy shoots an epic combat theater and war, but keeps the focus up close and personal. It’s the Normandy invasion from Saving Private Ryan, but toned down to video game levels of visual violence. The aliens are mostly depicted as blurry masses of tentacles and we are never given that science and biology class of alien anatomy to fully figure out what we are fighting. The whys behind the war isn’t really explored either. Has it ever been done satisfactorily in a movie yet? Anyhow, Edge of Tomorrow uses the sci-fi trope of a singular consciousness, hive-mind species. I like the swarming horde visual, but really, earthling soldiers pouring over a hill would look just as swarmy to any opposing force. It’s the cheap exit point of ‘kill the one and you kill them all’ that would allow one special man {guess who} to defeat an ENTIRE war machine by himself. That aside, Edge of Tomorrow is a great spectacle with enough Cruise special-ness to keep you engaged for the entire run. You’ll actually wish for more. I know I did. Here’s to Tom Cruise sticking with the sci-fi genre and giving us another one for the shelves. I’m not a movie critic, I’m just critiquing a movie. Check out my review of Oblivion and a run down the list of all the movies I’ve reviewed. Thanks for reading. What did you think?

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