Monday, 9 June 2014

Edge of Tomorrow Review

We escaped from Choreville and To-Do Town to watch Edge of Tomorrow in 3D on the weekend. It was awesome, and I'm not even a fan of Tom Cruise (I prefer Matt Damon or Vin Diesel, at minimum). But the peculiarly non-aging Cruise did a fabulous job as a reluctant hero thrown into a battlefield.

We didn't know much about the movie except that it had scored high on Rotten Tomatoes and was described as a science fiction Groundhog Day. The mister has a soft spot for time travel movies, and this was a neat take on the genre. This movie was also totally made for fans of PC or video games. It's easy to relate to the endless grinding or change of plans required to get past a target. And the constant reloading and switching of equipment and ammo. With drop ships, futuristic exo-skeletons and battle ready marines, Edge of Tomrrow crosses from the XBox to the big screen. Once Cruise's character, Major Cage, learns the secret to ending the war, resetting is played for laughs (honestly, this was surprisingly funny once the grimness of it wore off) and he wearily tries new things each day in hopes of defeating the aliens, called mimics.

My husband was reminded of Independence Day; I thought of Starship Troopers. Edge of Tomorrow still finds something new to explore with such a simple humans versus aliens plot. It's never quite revealed why the mimics are here - at one point Cage finds himself in a bar with some speculating seniors, but he shuts them down by saying something like "It doesn't matter, because they're already here". That too, is an apt metaphor for conflict - we don't know why we're supporting something except that it's happening. After a while, I stopped caring about the alien conflict part and cared a lot more about how Cage and fellow soldier Rita Vrataski were going to solve their time trap. The human factor never gets bogged down in technology or CGI.

Emily Blunt, who we loved in Looper, was fabulous as Rita, who has also experienced the same effect and guides the hapless Cage through his new-found power. It is Cage's transformation from coward to hero which is the heart of the story and the movie never waivers from that. Edge of Tomorrow really impressed me by also sticking to "show, don't tell". It makes me cringe when a movie starts out by narration the backstory, because it means something has really gone wrong with the movie! But you won't go wrong at all with Edge of Tomorrow, trust me. We scarcely noticed that two hours had gone by because it was so engrossing.

Now I just have to get a copy of All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, which the movie is based on, and toss it on the to-read pile.