Monday, June 16, 2014

Review of Edge of Tomorrow.

Edge of Tomorrow is a gripping, fast-paced, action science-fiction movie. It has time-travel, aliens and Tom Cruise being killed over and over again. What more could you want? It’s not exactly original, with a premise very similar to Source Code, except aliens replace the terrorists. For those who missed Source Code, think Groundhog Day, only in Edge of Tomorrow the conceited main character has to die to reset the day, and the stakes are slightly more than bedding Andie MacDowell. Cruise has to save the world, once more.

Cruise plays a different kind of hero here. He is not the Joe Everyman of War of the Worlds, or the inquisitive technician of Oblivion. In Edge of Tomorrow he is a media spin doctor for the army, Major Bill Cage. He is a man who knows how to spew out propaganda for the war effort, but has no intentions of going anywhere near the war front.  

The aliens are called Mimics. Their navigation system must have malfunctioned because they did invade Los Angeles, but Europe instead. Perhaps one of their many reptilian tentacles hit the wrong button on the navigation console while watching Independence Day. Most of Europe is occupied by the Mimics and if something isn’t done to stop their advance, they will soon threaten Los Angeles.    

The Americans, with the aid of one Aussie, plan to stop them. They decide to launch a massive D-day type invasion to re-take Europe. Cage is ordered to go in with the troops to report on the invasion. He refuses, so he is demoted and sent to the disembarking point for the invasion force, an airfield. There he is placed in a squad of other malcontents. The next morning he is quickly fitted out in a battle exoskeleton suit and marched onto a paratrooper plane. He is dropped into the front line and dies quickly.

Then the fun part of the story begins. When he dies he immediately travels back in time to the day before the invasion. He runs into a true war hero, Rita Vrataski, played by Emily Blunt. For such a petite actress, she is surprisingly convincing as a battle hardened warrior (the exoskeleton suit helps).  Together she and Cage set about trying to win the invasion, resulting in Cage dying and resetting over and over.

Aussie Noah Taylor makes an appearance as scientist who is slumming as a battle suit mechanic. He helps provide some of the technical information needed to explain the time loops. He also has some ideas on how to defeat the aliens.

The movie has some very nice twists as the story moves along at a great pace. No time is wasted in this movie. And it concludes with a realistic, logical ending. Well at least if you pay attention it does. Oh, and the special effects are excellent, unlike Avatar, the aliens look real and different. And I watched the 2D version. 

Edge of Tomorrow is based on the Japanese graphic novel All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The movie was written by a commitee of Christopher McQuarrie and Jez and John-Henry Butterworth. It is directed by Doug Liman who, among other films, directed the okay science-fiction film Jumper.

If you enjoy Star Trek you will enjoy Edge of Tomorrow. Come to think of it, I am sure one of the Star Trek series had an episode with a time-travel looping story similar to Edge of Tomorrow. If you hate Tom Cruise, just get over it: you are missing some great science-fiction movies. So go and see Edge of Tomorrow and have a great science-fiction time.


greenspace said...

sounds like good action SF

Anthony J. Langford said...

Nicely written review Graham.
I'm very tempted.
Actually I tried last week. The session I went for was in 3D and VMax - they told me it would be $27. I said, hmm, I'm actually going to pass.

Perhaps I'll try again.
I dont mind Tom Cruise. He's in one of my favourite films, Magnolia. In fact, I think its his best performance.

I don't mind Doug Liman either, but not a Blunt fan. Gotta love Noah Taylor though.

Keith Stevenson said...

Nice one, Graham. Yes, I also enjoyed the movie a lot. The aliens were so different and fresh. I know some people have griped about the ending, but - hey - it's Hollywood! And Cruise and Blunt really played their parts very well. Plus Bill Paxton channelling Colonial Marines - who couldn't love that!

Graham Clements said...

$27!! I would baulk at that too.

Graham Clements said...

Yeah, Bill Paxton played one of his more likeable roles.

Keith Stevenson said...

Down here it's $9.90 for a 2D movie in a state of the art digital cinema. Course everything is better in the Gong 😀

Graham Clements said...

Seemed a nice place Wollongong. I went there for an interview for the creative writing course at Uni of Wollongong.

Keith Stevenson said...

Can't fault it!

Anthony J. Langford said...

So you managed to convince me Graham, especially the comment about supporting films that are non sequel/remake based, so I went.

You're right, its pretty good. I enjoyed it. Fairly original, though almost a mix of Groundhog Day, Aliens and Matrix Revolutions.

Haven't read the book but got the feeling that the whole demotion idea was so that we could see Tom Cruise in the role of a 22 year old. I wonder how much longer he can do these roles. Its beginning to get ridiculous.

But cheers. I enjoyed it.
For the record, it was 2D and still cost $19 bucks. I'm seriously thinking of not going to multiplexes anymore, except for maybe the Palace cinema which has budgeted prices for members. Far too much, and there are always numskulls in suburban cinemas. (and probably Wang and the Gong too). lol

Graham Clements said...

$19 wow. I saw it in 2d too - but I get a concession so its only $12.50 for me. Interesting point about him being demoted to make him act like a 22 year old. Can't handle numbskulls. A few times back some teenage girls started making what they thought were witty comments about five rows back, I turned and yelled at them to shut-up which they did. But why weren't those next to them telling them to shut up? On 2D versus 3D, nowdays if I see a film is in both formats, I will go and see the 2D and avoid the inconvience of the glasses because I think 3D only distracts me from getting involved in the story.

Anthony J. Langford said...

Yes I agree. 2D is fine and better able to absorb the story.
Good for you for yelling at the teens. I dont because sometimes you get a psycho wanting to make a name for himself.. and they usually only do it in groups. But all of that is putting me off cinemas, especially with the home quality at hand. Ive got a big new TV and a blu ray.