I watched Edge of Tomorrow and it's the kind of original, exciting, clever big-budget summer movie we all wish for and don't get nearly enough of these days. It is no-foolin' around great. Essentially a sci-fi/action war version of Groundhog Day (as most everyone who knows ANYTHING about it is aware of by now), the flick concerns an interstellar war that the whole of humanity has been facing for five years, ever since a group of particularly ill-tempered aliens (known as Mimics) dropped by to piss on our planet's collective rug...and they're kind of kicking our asses. Everything is riding on one giant battle coming up on the beaches of France, a surprise attack that simply HAS to go our way or it's pretty much "game over, man!" for our species. The hook concerns Major William Cage (superduperstar Tom Cruise), a PR flack who probably hasn't held a rifle since ROTC in college -- and seems like kind of a coward -- being sent to the front lines to take part in the battle, which he does, and it's there that he dies horribly but wakes up back where he started which makes me think of the fact that
I watched Edge of Tomorrow and it's the kind of original, exciting, clever big-budget summer movie we all wish for and don't get nearly enough of these days. Yeah, the Groundhog Day gimmick has been used a number of times with varying degrees of success (my personal favorite is the Supernatural episode "Mystery Spot" from early in the show's run) but this is the first time I can remember it being used in the service of an enjoyable, action-packed sci-fi spectacular. It brings to mind a situation anyone who's ever spent HOURS on a particular video game level can relate to; you get aced over and over again until you figure out the timing, the various situations the game will throw at you, where they will occur, before you finally whip up on enemy posterior well enough to be victorious. For Cage, this seems to take a few thousand lives, give or take. Watching Cruise go from a terrified talking head-type to hardened warrior -- the type we more or less expect him to play in these flicks by now -- is handled with a surprising amount of wit and is often flat-out hilarious. In fact, I'd say that if you're not a fan of the Cruiser, this is probably one of the very few star vehicles he's ever had that you could actually get behind, because he is unceremoniously slaughtered in a myriad of ways throughout. If you ever wanted to see Tom Cruise die repeatedly, this is the movie for you, because it happens a LOT. It happens regardless of what he lessons he learns or what help he gets from a fellow combatant -- a hero known as the Angel of Verdun -- who's gotten to do the "live, die, repeat" thing as well and thinking about that makes me want to tell you how
I watched Edge of Tomorrow and it's the kind of original, exciting, clever big-budget summer movie we all wish for and don't get nearly enough of these days. One of the absolute greatest elements of this winner is Emily Blunt; this woman will kick your ass through your forehead and make you like it. Her character, Rita Vrataski (in addition to the Angel of Verdun moniker, she's also known as the Full Metal Bitch yet I doubt that's ever been said to her face), is a battle-hardened soldier who sees no sense in nonsense, if you know what I'm saying. When they first meet, Rita makes Cage look like even more of a wimp than he already is -- he's basically a mindless college kid off for a vacation in the woods and she's a pissed-off mama's boy in a hockey mask, relentless and unforgiving (a nice chunk of Cage's demises come at her hands after she tires of his worthlessness and it never fails to be awesome). Blunt joins the all-time ranks of cinematic badasses like Weaver and Hamilton with her role here. I dare you to resist her when she picks up a sword roughly the size of Cruise himself (yeah he's short but that's still a GIANT FUCKING SWORD) and starts laying waste to these funky-looking alien bastards while wearing a rad-as-hell robotic exo-suit -- recalling the power loader from Aliens with considerably more weaponry -- and being tougher than anyone else onscreen with ease. She's capable and (to her chagrin, most likely) very human. She's tired. Rita's had the reset power that Cage has before, lost it...and isn't sure how much that's going to cost her or our species. She knows this is probably it, and that fatalism, that exhaustion, is evident on Blunt's face in virtually every scene she's in. She's an excellent actor, doing something she's never been asked to do before, and she pulls it off like it's just another day at the alien-slaughtering office. Which reminds me that
I watched Edge of Tomorrow and it's the kind of original, exciting, clever big-budget summer movie we all wish for and don't get nearly enough of these days. It's clearly built around Cruise -- who brought in his pal (and all-time champion screenwriter) Christopher McQuarrie to help bolster the existing script from brother team Jez and John-Henry Butterworth -- yet even as Blunt matches/surpasses him moment for moment throughout, we can't forget that there's a few awesome ringers in the supporting cast. The legendary Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, as Cage's superior officer, has little to do but doesn't seem to know that and is typically superb in the brief moments he gets. Faring much better is Bill Mufuckin Paxton, as the skirmish-lovin', hard-as-nails hillbilly sergeant we've all seen in hundreds of war flicks. If you love Paxton (and if you don't, you are officially dead to me), you'll be pleased as a punch to a bad guy's jaw that he's gracing our screens again, doing that thing he does so well, even if you'll be left wanting more more more of him. The third and final character actor gift to the audience is the quietly wonderful Aussie actor Noah Taylor as a scientist who is the only one besides Rita who understands what has happened to Cage and what it could potentially mean for humanity's chances. His scenes are mainly exposition dumps that don't feel like the slog they normally do in films like this, and I'd have to lay that at the feet of director Doug Liman, who keeps the pace of this bad boy GOING and doesn't ever really slow down. There are a few moments that feel like a breather for the audience, but they aren't ever boring and neither is the flick, it's safe to say. Once Cage resets the first time, it's off to the races, and it's one of the reasons I must say that
I watched Edge of Tomorrow and it's the kind of original, exciting, clever big-budget summer movie we all wish for and don't get nearly enough of these days. I've been thinking about it, and -- in my humble estimation -- this is Liman's finest outing as a director thus far. I'm a fan of pretty much everything he's made (yes, even Mr. & Mrs. Smith; I had a good time, piss off) but he's never worked on a canvas this large before, and his confidence is evident. Some may bitch about some of the shots in the action sequences, but I had no problem with it whatsoever. Many directors these days substitute quick cuts and close ups for intensity and excitement because they simply don't know how the hell to shoot action and hope that chaos will hide that weakness (Marc Forster, I'm looking at most moments of QoS and am deeply disappointed in you, sir). Yes, I'm aware a lot of it is 2nd unit directors but goddammit we have to have standards here, and directors should either stop hiring these hacks to handle their action sequences or just look at the footage they're given and say "no -- that's a bird with no wings, son -- that shit won't fly." Anyway, what I'm saying is that in brief moments I may have wondered what was going on but that never lasted very long; most importantly, I never felt that LIMAN didn't know what was going on. It always felt like he knew exactly what he was doing, and if I was confused, it was because he damn well wanted me to be. This is something I respect, and Edge of Tomorrow -- along with Liman, Cruise, and especially Blunt -- earns even more respect by doing its job and then some; I laughed and jumped and watched Tom Cruise die horribly over and over and it was the popcorn-munching glorious entertainment that I'd hoped for. Anyone who enjoys movies of this type should really give it a shot...I'm telling you, this flick is just excellent. I want to see it in theaters again, and will most DEFINITELY get it on Blu-ray because…
I watched Edge of Tomorrow and it's the kind of original, exciting, clever big-budget summer movie we all wish for and don't get nearly enough of these days.