Saturday, June 7, 2014

Movie Review -- Edge of Tomorrow

Today we have the new Tom Cruise movie, Edge of Tomorrow. Based on a Japanese novel, is it worth watching?

The story begins with a meteor falling to earth. Malevolent alien monsters--called Mimic--pop out of it and begin to overrun Europe. Flash forward years later, and mankind has just scored an important victory against them thanks to skilled soldier Rita (Emily Blunt), AKA "The Angel of Verdan," AKA "Full Metal Bitch." She's adored by some and feared by others. Touting her accomplishments is military PR man William Cage (Cruise). He then gets transferred to France and is placed under the command of British General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson). Brigham tells Cage he'll be on the front lines in the upcoming push to retake Europe. Cage is no warrior, and even goes so far as to try blackmailing the general to get out of it. Brigham doesn't take kindly to this, and strips Cage of his officer status and forces him to participate in the invasion. He is given a powerful exo-suit to fight with, but he has no idea how to operate it. Nevertheless, they send him in as is. Things get so much worse when the Mimic ambush his dropship and he plummets to the beach below. He then comes into contact with a special blue Mimic and dies.

Except he doesn't. He finds himself right back at the base the day before the invasion. Somehow time has been reset. He participates in the failed invasion again and meets Rita. He also dies again. After a few more times doing this, she realizes what is going on with him. The Mimic have the power to turn back time if things don't go their way, and now Cage has managed to swipe it for himself, making him the key to stopping them. Unfortunately, he has no faith in himself. Even so, Rita decides to train him. The only catch is, if he gets injured he has to die or risk losing the power. Little by little, death by death, Cage is molded into an elite fighting machine. Still, stopping the Mimic won't be easy, especially if he can't convince the higher-ups to listen to him. Is there any hope for mankind?

Tom Cruise's last movie, Oblivion, was merely all right. This one completely blows it out of the water. It had me riveted from beginning to end. It has an original, compelling story and quality writing. It also has smart comedy. It's funny watching all the bad things happen to Cage. He dies constantly and in hilarious ways. Often this is due to Rita casually blowing his brains out whenever she decides they need a reset, but sometimes he gets killed by his own misjudging of situations. For instance, he tries to roll under a passing truck and gets squashed. I laughed quite a bit throughout this film.

However, if you regularly read my reviews, you know I usually have something bad to say, and today will be no exception. Edge of Tomorrow, for all it gets right, has a distinct lack of character development. Aside from Cage and Rita, we don't really find out much about the rest of their team. Cage rattles off tidbits about them, but that's not the same as true character development. They remain two-dimensional throughout. For the most part, their just generic soldiers. Even Bill Paxton's character doesn't have much depth.

Still, this doesn't bring down the movie, and the good outweighs the bad by a lot. You owe it to yourself to see Edge of Tomorrow.

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